Practice Research Unit
*The Unit is now closed. These webpages are for reference only.*
The founding aim of Kingston University's practice research unit is to look at contemporary aspects of practice as research (practice led and practice based) within drama and performance, film, music, fine art, dance, and creative writing, with a view to sharing the latest and best ideas in terms of standalone research and research-led pedagogy.
Its methodology is, firstly, to assay the current state of practice as research across all disciplines, and then to take the agenda forward through a number of major events each year, as well as through smaller local workshops occurring more frequently. A pluralism of approach will be a defining trait, and its events will be oriented towards both faculty and graduate students working in practice as research, be they Kingston-based, UK-based, or international.
Practice and Research in Music: Play, Translation, Education
Kingston University – 19-21 February 2014
Coombehurst Studio – admission free
Kingston University’s Improvisation and Digital Arts Festival (IDAF) is an explosion of performances, workshops, seminars and talks from KU Music staff, students and guests taking place from 19 until 21 February 2014.
This year the festival theme is “Practice and Research in Music: Play, Translation, Education”. On three consecutive days, three exciting fields of composition and research will be explored in presentations by leading researchers in the field as well in workshops and live performances by innovative composers and musicians.
Wednesday 19 February
Playing with Music
Day one of IDAF centres on the multimedial and interactive genre of videogame music.
Game music transforms musical composing and listening. It underlines multimedial plots but is distinguished from other multimedial genres by its interactivity. Listening to game music, moreover, is performative: a game has to be played for music to be heard. Game music also transforms musicological research, as it necessitates new approaches to musical multimediality, musical performance, and musical immersion. Lectures and performances will explore the many dimensions of interactive composing and its translation into interactive research.
Thursday 20 February
Day two of IDAF centres on improvisation and digital music as a form of cultural and medial exchange.
Why do some musical genres travel more easily than others beyond culture and language? How do we integrate and transfer cultural meanings and codes via musical styles? In what way do we translate, or interpret, different musical styles, approaches and techniques within an interdisciplinary intercultural context? Exploring the interpersonal, intercultural, intralinguistic and interlinguistic bridges on which music and translation intersect, the day examines how texts, words, meanings and technologies linked to music are currently translated, transferred to new systems, adapted or appropriated.
Friday 21 February
Day three of IDAF centres on the transformation of education through improvisation and digital music.
Both improvisation and the digital treatment of sound are transformative practices, liberating composers and performers from, amongst other things, the philosophical and psychological effects of using conventional notational practices. They invite new approaches and challenge established ideas about the nature of the musical work, how it is taught and esteemed. How should we value an improvisation that is ephemeral in nature (or should we capture it through recording)? How should we value a digital music performance that involves little visible performing skill or conventional virtuosity? How do these practices impact on the nature of the musical end product? How do we teach students to improvise? All of these areas will be illuminated through a series of papers, workshops and performances.
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