LAB4: Jennifer Walshe, Robert Luzar, Oogoo Maia

Wednesday 11 January, 12-4pm, CM131

In the fourth lab we explore physicality and scoring. Robert Luzar will present recent video demonstrations and discuss their relationship with live performance, and Oogoo Maia considers the musician’s body as a site of music-making through a series of interactive games. In the second part we welcome composer/performer Jennifer Walshe who will present some of her recent work using multiple notational strategies. Walshe’s work is inherently physical, with natural actions and real world sources framed and abstracted as material, often placing her voice at the centre.


12-2pm: Robert Luzar / Oogoo Maia

Robert Luzar / Traceless tracing: demonstrating Demonstrations

Throughout last October, I made four video based works for an online project called Demonstrations. For the Open Scores Lab I will present, physically show, or visually ‘demonstrate’ some of these works – works as ‘how to’ videos and live actions that offset the so-called momentary and ephemeral way much of live, performance art is received through these days. Part of this will mean re-demonstrating or showing again a kind of ‘inactive action’ – a work that mitigates, empties out, and (polemically) demonstrates against the ‘liveness’ valued by momentary experiences. This means, moreover, rethinking the theoretical – even theological – senses many audiences and practitioners look now to: curious notions of affect, embodiment, and indexes (marks, writings, materials, bodies). ‘Traceless tracing’ will instead be put on the discussion table, to now really think about completely different ways of viewing and engaging choreographic and performative scores.

Oogoo Maia

With the understanding that face-to-face human communication operates on many more levels than the level of words, so does the complexity of live music expand beyond the level of sounds: the relationship between a performer and its audience lives not only in the music being made but also in the the body, the facial expressions, the eyes: to paraphrase Marshal McLuhan, the musician is the message. Through a series of games/studies, I will propose ways in which the body of the musician can be brought to the foreground of the practice of live music, in tandem with the sonic, the verbal and the spatial universes generated in the act of making music.


2-4pm: Jennifer Walshe / Open Score Notation as Alien Intelligence

I will talk about my own work, showing multiple examples of different graphic/open notation, ranging from paper-based to 3D and online work.

Jennifer Walshe is a composer, performer and visual artist of whom the Irish Times has said that “without a doubt, hers is the most original compositional voice to emerge in Ireland in the last 20 years”. She studied composition at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and at Northwestern University, Chicago, graduating with a doctoral degree in composition in 2002. A winner of the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, Germany in 2000, she returned to the Ferienkurse in July 2002 to lecture in composition. She was a fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart between 2003 and 2004, and from 2004-05 she lived in Berlin as a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm. In 2007 she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York and in 2008 received the Praetorius Music Prize for Composition by the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur.

Jennifer Walshe also frequently performs as a vocalist, specialising in extended techniques, and many of her recent compositions use her voice in conjunction with other instruments. She is also active as an improviser, performing regularly with musicians in Europe and the USA. Her music has been performed and broadcast worldwide and she has received commissions from most of the major European new music festivals.

Perhaps her best known work to date is the opera XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!! whose main characters are played by Barbie dolls. The opera was premiered in Dresden in 2003 and has received many further performances. More recent projects include Grúpat, a two-year project in which Walshe assumed nine different alter egos – all members of art collective Grúpat – and created compositions, installations, graphic scores, films, photography, sculptures and fashion under these alter egos.

Jennifer Walshe says of her work that “the sounds I am interested in include those that we hear all the time but are normally considered flawed or redundant: twigs snapping in a burning fire, paper tearing, breathing, instrumental sounds that aren’t considered ‘beautiful’ in standard terms. I think these sounds have their own beauty in the way that pebbles on a beach or graffiti can have.”

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