Experience Music Experiment

Pragmatism and Artistic Research

Edited by William Brooks

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Challenging perspectives on artistic research in and through experimental discourse
“Truth happens to an idea.” So wrote William James in 1907; and twenty-four years later John Dewey argued that artistic experience entailed a process of “doing and undergoing.” But what do these ideas have to do with music, or with research conducted in and through music—that is, with “artistic research”? In this collection of essays, fourteen very different authors respond with distinct and challenging perspectives. Some report on their own experiments and experiences; some offer probing analyses of noteworthy practices; some view historical continuities through the lens of pragmatism and artistic experiment. The resulting collection yields new insights into what musicians do, how they experiment, and what they experience—insights that arise not from doctrine, but from diverse voices seeking common ground in and through experimental discourse: artistic research in and of itself.

Contributors: William Brooks (Orpheus Institute), Richard Shusterman (Florida Atlantic University), Winnie Huang (Orpheus Institute/University of Antwerp/Royal Conservatoire Antwerp), Marco Fusi (Orpheus Institute/University of Antwerp/Royal Conservatoire Antwerp), Victoria Tzotzkova (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Fiona Smyth (Trinity College Dublin), Clare Lesser (New York University Abu Dhabi), Caitlin Rowley (Bath Spa University), Nicholas Brown (Trinity College Dublin), Ivana Miladinović Prica (University of Arts in Belgrade), Thibault Galland (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Garry L. Hagberg (Bard College), Ann Warde (Independent scholar), Deniz Ertan (Independent scholar) and Ambrose Field (University of York)

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).


William Brooks

Music, Poetry, and Possession
Richard Shusterman

Part 1: Doing

The Pragmatic Musical-Gestural Performer
Winnie Huang

Shaping Interpretation through Experience: A Case for a Pragmatic Approach to Contemporary Music Performance
Marco Fusi

Experiments in Experience: Listening to Rooms and Pianos
Victoria Tzotzkova and Fiona Smyth

The Rehearsal Process: Finnissy, Hespos, and Pragmatic Approaches to Indeterminacy
Clare Lesser

Part 2: Making

As If Unobserved: Experiments towards a Publicly Visible Composition Practice
Caitlin Rowley

Game-Show; or, The Playful Work of the Voice
Nicholas Brown

The Velicon and Music of Experience
Ivana Miladinović Prica

Part 3: Observing

How to Embody Truth? Jenny Hval’s Experimentations with Music and Voice
Thibault Galland

The Life of Rhythm: Musical Time, Dewey’s Pragmatism, and Jazz Improvisation
Garry L. Hagberg

Peirce’s Aesthetic of Experiment
Ann Warde

Music News in the Progressive Era: American Experience as Civic Participation, Everyday Living, and Music Making
Deniz Ertan

Redefining Progress at the Intersection of AI and Artistic Research
Ambrose Field

Online Materials

Notes on Contributors


Format: Edited volume - ebook - PDF

288 pages

Illustrated b/w

ISBN: 9789461663924

Publication: August 23, 2021

Series: Orpheus Institute Series

Languages: English

William Brooks is professor of music at the University of York, emeritus professor at the University of Illinois, scholar-in-residence at the Newberry Library, and senior research fellow at the Orpheus Institute.