I understand

Composition, Alternative Performance and Performance Art

13 – 24 August 2018

Gather with other creative musicians to examine varied approaches to composition and make new music.

Larry Goves composer
Hanna Hartman sound artist & composer
Tim Parkinson composer
Amber Priestley composer
James Saunders composer
Juliet Fraser soprano
and members of The House of Bedlam

Led by leading figures in contemporary music with interest and practice overlapping with experimental performance art, this new course aims to broaden the perspectives of open-minded composers and performers. Rather than dividing participants into categories, it seeks only to encourage the creation of new works.

Starting with an alternative narrative of historical performance art (traced through Dada, Bauhaus, and Fluxus) and how it shapes current experimental musical practice, participants will then work collaboratively in the forging of original works. Topics to be covered include: different approaches to instruments; different roles in the creative process for performers and composers; fluidity between graphic, tablature and traditional notation; considering devised, composed and improvisation practice as equal stimuli in the creation of new music.

Applications are invited from creative musicians, whether instrumentalists, singers or composers (who need not be performers themselves).

Final Concert: Friday 24 August

What's this course all about? Larry Goves explains...

“To anyone interested in the Composition, Alternative Performance and Performance art course:

As there have been a few enquiries regarding the Composition, Alternative Performance and Performance (CAPPA) course I thought I’d try and address these through a more informal description of the course and our intentions for it.

CAPPA is intended to be a composition, performance and new music course that interprets these things very broadly. I have felt, in certain circumstances, that new music making associated with technology, acoustic instruments, improvisation and sound art (to name a few areas) are very separate. Add in music that emerges or in some way connects to different traditions (historical performance art, ‘classical’ performance and composition, electronica, folk music etc.) then this can, again in some cases, create separation.

What, then, brings this course together (as it is not intended to be ‘any kind of music in any possible circumstances’)? In this case the unifying characteristic is a desire to experiment in the creation of new music for performance and consider your practice in the context of historical and contemporary experimental music. The decision to contextualise this with a historical performance-art narrative is partly because this is emblematic of experimental creative practice, partly because it seems increasingly relevant to new music making, partly because it provides a dramatic contrast to the western ‘classical music’ narrative that is probably (and understandably) most associated with Snape Maltings and partly because performance art is, for the most part, inherently interdisciplinary.

So what does this mean in practical terms for an application. We are obviously interested in musicians who are engaged in multimedia work and whose practice traverses different traditions and approaches. We are, however, just as interested in composers who write music on paper and ask instrumentalists/vocalists to interpret it and performers who predominantly interpret music but consider that they add to the music through their creative approach. The course is not intended to create a fusion of approaches (although this is not something we would resist either) but to encourage conversation and reflections between artists who are united by experimentation rather than anything else.

So CAPPA is a course for makers. If you make new music and you’re interested in experimentation, then this is likely for you.

If you choose to apply – good luck!

Larry Goves, Oct 2017