Wednesday 11.03.2020 14:00
Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik

IDEA lectures with Renee Timmers:
Process and product in ensemble performance: from embodied interaction to ensemble aesthetics

In performing together, musicians create a shared, coordinated performance. Such ensemble performances are established dynamically and interactively, as well as through constructing and polishing a distributed notion of what the end-product of the musical performance should sound like. An element of emergence and uncertainty will always be present in ensemble performance. Nevertheless, musicians will come with ideas about musical aesthetics, style and expression, and will develop an in-depth familiarity with the music (its sounding structures and cohering parts) through performance and rehearsal. This presentation will consider ensemble performance as on the one hand strongly real-time and emergent, and on the other hand also product oriented. It will consider what processes underlie emergent interaction and what aspects may be part of an ensemble aesthetics. By looking at process and product, it also considers tensions between an embodied and enactive perspective on ensemble performance emphasising real-time and externalised coordination and interaction, and a more cognitive perspective that emphasises the concepts, ideas, and representations that performers bring, and that inform performance. It will argue for the relevance of an embodied and enactive perspective to understand ensemble performance, while acknowledging that cognitive approaches are helpful in uncovering and formulating performers’ goals and intentions. The aim is to develop insight into expressive communication in ensemble performance: how do musicians develop a shared performance that they agree on; how do they coordinate musically; and how may performance processes depend on musical context and ensemble aesthetics?

Renee Timmers, is Professor in Psychology of Music and Director of the research centre, Music, Mind, Machine at the University of Sheffield. She is also the current president of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music

The IDEA Lectures bring together internationally renowned voices taking up questions of musical production and reception from a wide variety of perspectives. Musicologists from all disciplines are involved as well as musicians, psychologists, cognitive scientists, sociologists, philosophers and ethnologists.

The talk will be held in English.

External guests are welcome.