Art & Music: David Briers Sees Increasing Links between Contemporary Music and Visual Art

By Briers, David | Art Monthly, February 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Art & Music: David Briers Sees Increasing Links between Contemporary Music and Visual Art


Briers, David, Art Monthly


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ARTICLES BY CHRIS TOWNSEND IN TWO RECENT ISSUES OF ART MONTHLY (AM310, 312) HAVE DESCRIBED HOW THE PRACTICE OF VIDEO ART HAS LATELY MADE INCURSIONS INTO THE WORLD OF STAGED OPERA, THEREBY OFFERING OPERA 'OPPORTUNITIES FOR RENEWED HISTORICAL RELEVANCE' COUNTER TO 'THE DISABLING PROPERTIES OF VISUAL SPECTACLE'. Those articles were written by a self-confessed opera lover. I am not an opera lover, as it happens, but I am a close follower of festivals of contemporary music. Such festivals, which provide platforms for new modernist and postmodernist composed concert music, are as different from performances in opera houses or large mainstream concert halls as chalk and cheese. Performances at contemporary music festivals are given before closely attentive and completely silent audiences, an equivalent condition to the archetypal white cube that acts as a neutral ground on which to place a new work of art. In contrast to the world of opera, these are almost anti-spectacles. Here, however preoccupied the music is with randomness and other playful compositional strategies, it is essentially experienced as a form of serious intellectual discourse. In this discrete world I have observed over a number of years an increasing contiguity with aspects of contemporary visual art practices.

To some degree, this encroachment is happening because of the prevalent awareness of the phenomenon of sound art, currently flourishing as a popular artistic practice and curatorial favourite, and heading towards institutional respectability as an academic discipline, with its own contextual theory, history and historiography. For some years it has uncomfortably positioned itself taxonomically between fine art practice (most practitioners who are happy to be called sound artists trained on fine art courses) and contemporary music, in the way that the many attempts to devise a theoretical context for live art used to founder somewhere between its dual contexts of art history and theatre history. When the paradigm of the latter shifted from having been considered a subspecies of theatre, and contingent upon it, live art became, according to Philip Auslander, 'a subset of a still larger category reasonably called performance'. In a similar way, the tendency now seems to be to consider sound art and composed music both as subcategories of sound culture. There are still, of course, many blurred borders between these and other multifarious practices within sound culture: experimental music, electroacoustic music, low tech sound sculpture, performance art, sound poetry, radiophonic art, turntable culture, noise music, soundscape design, field recording, acoustic ecology, psychoacoustics and the philosophy of sound.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

All of these featured in one way or another at the 30th Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF) in November, to a greater degree perhaps than previously at this event. There are many established and nascent international festivals and gatherings specialising in sound art, free improvisation and noise music--for example, the Happy New Ears Festival at Kortrijk in Belgium, Krakow's annual autumn Audio Art Festival and the forthcoming Soundwaves Festival in Brighton. There are not so many international festivals of contemporary concert music these days, though some new ones have come into being in recent years, like Klangspuren in Austria, the Gothenburg Art Sounds Festival and Dublin's Printing House Festival. The most substantial contemporary music festivals have been going the longest: the Warsaw Autumn since 1956, and the Zagreb Music Biennale since 1961.

HCMF is equivalent in importance in the contemporary music world to Documenta or Ars Electronica. Like those manifestations within the art world, HCMF concentrates on presenting new work within an international frame of reference, and is conditioned to some degree by the ideas of one director. HCMF's initiator and director until 2000 was Richard Steinitz, composition lecturer at Huddersfield University, who fostered a climate of considerable openness tempered by academic rigour and complete seriousness.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Art & Music: David Briers Sees Increasing Links between Contemporary Music and Visual Art
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.