In new music today, a focus on the body as performing subject is gaining momentum. In the past practitioners of serious music have often neglected to take their physical selves seriously as the material through which meaning is conveyed. Most of us in the new music community would acknowledge that this situation is changing. The new discipline emphasizes “doing” or experiencing; the embodied activity of performers is no longer to be glossed over, like an obligatory technology employed as a means for producing sound. This music treats the presence of embodied subjects as a considered part of the making, the thinking, the meaning, and the performative moment. In this article I try to tie together some threads in performance practice, composition, theories of embodiment, genre and audience perception, to explore the current status of the performing body in new music and pose some questions about where we could take it next.
"The singing subject is both site-of and author-of her practice. This practice-based, artistic research unpacks the entangled process of making new music, conscious that the performer-author is the site where embodied problem solving takes place. The principal focus of the paper is the author’s realization of Alexander Garsden’s [ja] Maser, for voice and electronics, created by recording and reconstituting vocal elements using traditional compositional and performative methods as well as studio recording and granular synthesis..."
Got Lost: Embodied Vocal Performance at the Junction of Autoethnography and Practice-Based Research will be a chapter in “Creative Selves/Creative Cultures: Critical Autoethnography, Performance, and Pedagogy” on Palgrave-MacMillan. http://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319475264
Vocal entanglements: exploring the links between music-making and performer-subjectivity at the Tanglewood Music Center will be a chapter in 'Here and Now: Music Research in Australia' on Intelligent Arts (http://intelligentarts.net/)