Those little things that cannot be reduced to the whole that make art a form of research (and vice versa): Composing-listening-playing is the same kind of thing

Eric Maestri

Music Performance Research ISSN 1755-9219
Vol. 12, 80-94
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, April 2024
Thinking of practice as ontologically more important than theory is an old question, but one worth mentioning. While much of the philosophy of the latter 20th century reminds us of this, in music this idea took some time to establish itself. Now we are there, and artistic practice seems to provide a range of methods and discoveries that, when listened to, profoundly transform musical knowledge. I therefore propose to begin from here and to think of artistic practice as the close observation of the small things that make up music, thinking that these things cannot be reduced to the whole. Now, one of the problems in today’s music lies in the strange relationship between sound and sign, which we take for granted, forgetting that this relationship is made up of countless steps whose origin is the relationship with the instrument, the performer, reality and listening. Starting from a discussion on what a score is, I develop an artistic research project. In this text, I therefore try to relate reflection to compositional practice. Attempting to (re)activate the link between listening, composing and performing in our contemporary context, the function and role of the score is transformed. To do this, I propose a research axis with a tangible result: sonic scores.
compositional act, subscendence, listening, sonic scores
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