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The Acousmatic Gesture

Dr Robert Dow
Electroacoustic Composition
University of Edinburgh, UK

Dow, Robert J. "The Referential in Acousmatic Music." Music and its

Referential systems. Eds. Matja Barbo and Thomas Hochradner. Vienna:
Hollitzer Wissenshaftsverlag, 2011
Dr Peter V. Swendsen
Electroacoustic Music Composition, Interactive music/dance
Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Ohio, USA
"Shaping the Electroacoustic Gesture"

Dance, Timing, & Musical Gesture : June 15 2008 : Univ. of Edinburgh, UK

"Choreo-musical Space Frames, Time Scales, and the Implications of Multichannel Audio in Dance Performance"
Third International Conference on Music and Gesture : March 5-6 2010 : Montreal, Canada

"Beyond '5, 6, 7, 8': Electroacoustic Music and Dance"

University of Tennessee's Musicology Distinguished Lecture Series : October 27 2011 : Knoxville

Dr Sophia Lycouris
Dance Improvisation
Edinburgh College of Art, UK

Richard Witts
University of Edinburgh, UK
Kinaesthetic Hearing in the Choreographic Practice
Dr Stephanie Schroedter
Dance/Music (theatre) research and Musicology
Bayreuth University, Germany
Renate Bruninger
Liverpool Hope University, UK
To describe the possible meaning a body can convey in space in
terms of the figural or the Gestalt, I have used Franois Lyotards
text Discourse Figure (1971) and in the broader context of my
research also the writings of Gilles Deleuze. While preoccupying
myself with those two philosophers I discovered the importance of
Henri Bergsons (1859-1941) writing on the development of their

philosophical thinking. Bergsons concepts of the interrelationship

time and space, becomings and multiplicities have been discovered
by French postructuralist thinking and became an integral part of it.
Bergsons philosophy was widely perceived across the disciplines by
his contemporaries. 31 In the context of my research, the Bergson
reception by the Swiss musicologist Ernst Kurth (1886-1946) seems
of particular importance. The latters theoretical approach is useful
to describe music in primarily energetic terms and he emphases the
importance of a horizontal analysis of music over a vertical one.
Kurth also examines our perception of music through afterimages of,
for example, contours of melodies - which closely relates to the
relationships Bergson perceives between time and space. This
approach might be useful in interlinking the aural and visual
perception through the imagery of shapes or Gestalten in space and
to discover how those relations might have connections to the
affective impact music and movement have on each other and how
we perceive this in time. I will illustrate my points through the
analysis of choreography by George Balanchine and by Anne Teresa
de Keersmaeker. In the work of both choreographers music plays a
central role and is often the source of choreographic inspiration.
Apart from rhythm as a central parameter, I will show how the
figural or the Gestalt creates sites of meaning and emotional
response in their work.
Bergson, H. (1907). Lvolution cratice. Paris: Aux Press
Universitaires France.
Bullerjahn, C. (2001). Grundlagen der Wirkung von Filmmusik.
Augsburg: Winer.
Cook, N. (1998). Analysing Musical Multimedia, Oxford: Oxford
University Press.
Deleuze, G. and F. Guattari. trans. B. Massumi (1987). A Thousand
Plateaux. Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota Press.
Hodgins, P. (1992). Relationships between Score and Choreography
In Twentieth Century
Dance. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press.
Jordan, S. (2000). Moving Music. London: Dance Books.
Kurth, E. (1947). Musikpsychology. Bern: Krompholz & Co.
Lyotard, F. (1971). Discours Figure. Paris: Klincksieck.

De la Motte-Haber and Emos, H. (1980) Filmmusik eine

systematische Beschreibung. Mnchen,
Wien: Laaber.
Rodowick D. L. (2001). Reading the Figural after the New Media.
Durham: Duke University
Lehmann, H. (2006). Postdramatic Theatre. London: Routledge.
Swayer, E. (1985). Dance with Music the World of the Ballet
Musician. Cambridge, London, New
York: Cambridge University Press