Wednesday 11 October 2017 4:15pm
Dr Fabrice Fitch (RNCM)
Constructing Canons: Compositional Process and Ockeghem's Prolation Mass.
Ockeghem's Missa Prolationum is something of a holy grail of early music analysis. Composed in the mid-15th century, it is written in double canon throughout, with the canonic interval growing from unison to octave over the course of the entire work. In this lecture, I will present the work and the compositional and analytical challenges it poses. My analysis seeks to trace the compositional process, focusing in particular on the movement that sets these challenges in their most acute form.
Wednesday 18 October 2017 4:15pm
Professor Denis Herlin (CNRS, IReMUS)
FORUM PLUS - Michael Kennedy International Research Lecture.
Professor Denis Herlin, RNCM International Chair in Musicology, sheds new light on Debussy’s early songs, followed by a short recital featuring RNCM performers.
Wednesday 1 November 2017 4:15pm
Professor David Owen Norris (University of Southampton, Royal College of Music, RNCM)
The Severity of Time: How nineteenth-century composers used dynamic markings to indicate rubato in piano music.
‘The Severity of Time’ is a quotation from Muzio Clementi’s instruction book of 1801:
“CON ESPRESSIONE or CON ANIMA, with expression; that is, with passionate feeling; where every note has its peculiar force and energy; and where even the severity of time may be relaxed for extraordinary effects.”
Clementi, the foremost virtuoso pianist-composer of his day, thus indicated that one way of playing extraordinarily expressively is to vary the time.
Did composers find ways to notate this ‘extraordinary’ resource, or were they just content to leave it to the performer? David Owen Norris will sift through music by Clementi, Beethoven, Mendelssohhn, Schumann, and even Elgar to reconstruct a forgotten system of notating rubato.
Wednesday 15 November 2017 5pm Carole Nash Recital Room.
Gavin Wayte and Rob Buckland (RNCM)
FORUM PLUS - New Music North West: Who’s Driving
RNCM lecturer and composer Gavin Wayte and Head of Saxophone & Deputy Head of Chamber Music Rob Buckland introduce early experiments towards a new collaboration which brings together composition, improvisation and interactive electronics and video animation.
Wednesday 22 November 2017 4:15pm
Professor Barbara Kelly (RNCM)
Accenting the French Connections: Debussy’s homage to Chopin
Debussy had a lifelong admiration for Chopin. Experts have observed the synergies between Debussy’s distinctive piano writing and Chopin’s style and have located that influence particularly in the late Etudes (1916), which are dedicated to Chopin. Mention is frequently made to the fact that Debussy edited Chopin’s music for Durand’s Edition Classique as he was working on his own Etudes. However, few people have actually looked at Debussy’s editions in detail to see who his models were and to what extent he followed any particular existing source rather than simply relying on his outspoken comments in his letters. Debussy knew and admired prominent performers of Chopin, in particular, the Polish Ignaz Friedman, and French performers such as Alfred Cortot and Robert Casadesus. The presentation will consider Debussy’s ‘reading’ of Chopin as an editor, performer and composer and the extent to which his own ‘French’ sensibility and ‘accent’ is evident in his editions.
Wednesday 29 November 2017 4:15pm
Dr David Horne and Dr Simon Clarke (RNCM)
The Virtuosity of Failure
This presentation, with performance, combines our respective specialisms of artistic research into performance and critical theory. Building on recent research, as presented in Graz and Budapest, virtuosity is addressed from related perspectives, namely the nature of the technical prowess of performers as exploited by composers, and the semiotic implications of intellection itself (where demonstrated). Our work is derived from a longstanding project centred on our ensemble, Vulgar Display - indeed, interrogating virtuosity as a topos was its primary goal from the outset - and thus discourse on virtuosity quickly becomes discourse as virtuosity, with all its reflexive implications.
Wednesday 6 December 2017 4:15pm
Dr Liesl van der Merwe (North-West University, South Africa) and Dr John Habron (RNCM)
The Dalcroze Diamond: A theory of spirituality in Dalcroze Eurhythmics
In this presentation, we present the results of a five-year collaboration that has generated a theory of spirituality in Dalcroze Eurhythmics. In the first part, we narrate and reflect on our working process on four qualitative research studies: two literature-based (A conceptual model of spirituality in music education & A conceptual study of spirituality in selected writings of Émile Jaques-Dalcroze) and two data-based (Exploring lived experiences of spirituality amongst five Dalcroze teachers: an IPA & Stories students tell about their lived experiences of spirituality in the Dalcroze class).
In the second part, we present a conceptual study generated by emergent themes prevalent in all four studies. Since the theory of Dalcroze and spirituality is multifaceted we use a diamond-shaped figure to show our findings. With this theory, we hope to create a heightened awareness of the spiritual potential in the Dalcroze class and communicate the pedagogical thoughtfulness and tact required when teaching using the Dalcroze approach.
Friday 8 December 2017 6pm
Dr Clair Rowden (Cardiff University) and Professor Richard Langham Smith (Royal College of Music)
FORUM PLUS - Re-Fitting the Slipper: Massenet’s slant on an age-old story.
Massenet and his librettist Henri Cain adapted Perrault’s fairytale of the wicked stepmother, the ugly sisters, Prince Charming (a pantomime-like travesty role), and a magical fairy godmother for the audience of the Opéra-Comique in 1898 who were wowed by a beautiful production full of special effects. A traditional tale of jealousy, duty, devotion, love and sexual awakening retold through Massenet’s enchanting mix of musical styles.
Wednesday 13 December 2017 4:15pm
Dr Larry Goves (RNCM)
Projecting Text: the sonic and visual
This presentation is a reflection on some recent and current compositional work which employs text as notation and/or uses projected text in performance. These pieces include: Extracts from South Korea and Japan 2002 (2015) for flute and projected text; The book of Matthew (2016) for four instruments and projected text; Air pressure (2017) for prepared closed-hole flute and; a work in progress for two saxophones and electronic sound. Drawing on these pieces and a range of relevant literature I am considering how to address questions relating to voice, meaning and immersion/perspective/distancing and how I might further develop this compositional approach.
These ideas and pieces draw on a diverse range of influences including: music and text by Yannis Kyriakides; action and visual work by artists including Jenny Holzer and Bruce Nauman and; interactional linguistics (in particular the notion of ‘lexical affiliates’ developed by sociologist Emanuel Schegloff).