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Strung Together: A Practical Exploration of Music-Cultural Hybridity, Interaction, and Collaboration

Perks, Richard (2019) Strung Together: A Practical Exploration of Music-Cultural Hybridity, Interaction, and Collaboration. In: Hybrid Practices: Methodologies, Histories, and Performance, University of Malta, 13-15 Mar 2019, Malta. (KAR id:80754)

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Abstract

Strung Together is a collaborative performance project commissioned in September 2017 by Diaspora Arts Connection in San Francisco, US. Drawing from models of cultural integration and collaborative creativity, this research project enabled the development of a practical methodology through which the improvisatory approaches of non-congruent music-cultures might be combined to create a programme of original, eclectic works, within a limited time- frame. Considering the subtle boundaries which lie between coexistence, assimilation, and synthesis within cross-cultural collaborations, Strung Together explored how different initial musical stimuli might alter the balance, whilst maintaining contextually-relative improvisatory freedom(s); and optimising productivity. Here the blending of three improvisation-based music traditions was investigated – Persian Dastgāh, Arabic folk, and Western popular (rock/jazz/free) improvisation – through a process comprising: continual dialogue; collective composition; coalesced methods of improvisation; rearrangement and refinement; rehearsals; and live performance.

Acting as musical director/performer, I sourced four professional musicians from the San Francisco Bay area – each expert in different traditions of improvisatory music(s) – to form a quintet; and was ultimately responsible for the project’s curation and delivery. I provided various pre-composed musical stimuli, Fragment(s), each of which incorporated influences from the performers’ respective music traditions and served as initial platforms for the development of the final pieces. We gathered together daily for one week, and during this time collectively developed, arranged, and rehearsed a complete performance programme of new, hybrid music. A live performance took place on the final day at the renowned Buriel Clay Theatre, which was streamed live via social media, reaching a worldwide audience.

This presentation will reflect on the creative practice behind Strung Together, demonstrating that by inaugurating a democratic environment, where manifold approaches to music-making are considered and respected at a structural level, music-cultural synthesis is achievable within a limited time-frame.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts > Music and Audio Arts
Faculties > Humanities > School of Music and Fine Art
Depositing User: Richard Perks
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2020 12:33 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2020 11:21 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/80754 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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