Sunday, October 23, 2011

Collab Notes >6< :: CLEARLY/Academic pursuit

CLEARLY is opening the next exhibit at the Brunnier Gallery on the campus at Iowa State University, December 2-3.  I am also looking for a space to open the installation for 4 months from January-April 2012.  This will lead up to the lecture performance I am required to do for my Doctorate of Music from Northwestern University.  News about this space will be coming soon.  Below I have included the proposal I submitted for my DM final project.  Not surprising, I hope, is that it is all about collaboration, and focusing on modern day collaborating duos as the basis for studying process and concepts.

This will likely change, but here is the initial proposal:

A large portion of my work as a percussionist and performer has been collaborating with dancers and choreographers, from accompanying class, performance improvisation, or composition, to directing choreographic, staging, and theatrical ideas.  I am also very interested in the physical connections between dance and percussion playing; both mediums use an intimate understanding of kinetic energy and a controlled combination of movements that originate from the core of the performer and end with variations on sound and rhythm at the distal end.

            My Final Project for a Doctorate of Music at Northwestern University would be an exploration into the process and collaboration between three duos of composer and choreographer.  I would begin with research into the famous and possibly most immediately recognizable duo, John Cage and Merce Cunningham.  I will begin by viewing and listening to several of their collaborative works, reading interviews and their thoughts about collaboration, as well as the thoughts from their dancers and colleagues.

            I will continue this research by exploring the collaborative duos of Peter Martins/John Adams and Nico Muhly/Benjamin Millepied and the work they have produced together.  I hope to interview them to get a more accurate understanding of their thoughts about collaboration and creating a workable synthesis between the two mediums.

            I will then also interview separate choreographers and composers to gather a larger understanding of the experiences they have encountered when collaborating across artistic disciplines.  Some of these artists will include Molly Shanahan, choreographer and director of Mad Shak Dance Company, and Danish composer, Andy Pape.

            The fifth segment of this project will be the ideas and concepts from my collaboration with choreographer, Valerie Williams.  We have worked together for two years and the lecture recital will present our collaboration on the project, CLEARLY; an installation of glass percussion instruments, video, design, and dance.  We will strive to show how the concepts from Cage/Cunningham, Martins/Adams, Muhly/Millepied, and the other choreographers and composers come through in our collaboration, but also how our duo has individual characteristics.  Our unique process most likely circles back to the collaboration of Cage and Cunningham, by using improvisational methods, conceptual ideas, inspirational energy from each performer, and imagery and verbal descriptions for form development.

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