European Platform for Artistic Research in Music, 2015
Orla McDonagh and Denise Neary represented the Royal Irish Academy of Music at the 5th meeting of the European Platform for Artistic Research in Music in Graz, Austria, from 23-25 April 2015.
EPARM: a forum for sharing artistic research
The European Platform for Artistic Research in Music (EPARM) was founded in 2011 with the aim of ‘creating environments for sharing and discussing work at the forefront of artistic research in music, helping to focus and coordinate activity, enhance quality and raise the profile of this emerging branch of musical research.’
What is artistic research?
The conference took place at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz. The theme of the conference was ‘(Re-)processing Research: musical practice as both source and target domain for artistic research in music’. Artistic research in music is rooted in practice; its questions and answers arise from musical practice and, ideally, should feed back into this practice to enhance it for the whole community of musical practitioners. This conference sought to identify, explore and encourage examples where this can be seen to take place.
A mix of presentations and performances
Over 120 delegates attended the conference from 26 countries throughout Europe and as far afield as Australia and Thailand. There were 33 presentations over three days, including keynote presentations by Christian Utz, University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, and Mieko Kanno, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. There were also musical performances by students from the percussion and jazz departments and a concert of new and old music in the György Ligeti Hall on Thursday evening.
Highlights included a presentation entitled ‘Investigating the Skills of Experienced Piano Accompanists’ by Evgenia Roussou from the University of Hull, UK, which explored the skills of piano accompanists in the duo chamber ensemble context through observations and interviews with experienced musicians; a presentation of the Artistic Doctoral School at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, by its director Ulf Baestlein; and an overview of the ‘Polifonia Project’ outputs on Artistic Research by Stephen Broad from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Gerhard Eckel from the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz. A presentation on the AEC Council’s ‘Green Paper’ on Artistic Research was given by Georg Schulz of the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, and was followed by discussion in breakout groups and a final report to all delegates. This reflects the support of the AEC in promoting the understanding and development of the musical arts and the central focus of EPARM. More information on the conference papers can be found on the AEC website.
Another highlight was the conference dinner on Friday 24 April. This was held in the Aula der Alten Universität, which was originally the library of the Old University, Graz, where Johann Joseph Fux, composer and music theorist, was a student in 1680.
We look forward to the next EPARM conference which will take place at the Conservatorio di Musica ‘A. Pedrollo’ in Vicenza, Italy, in April 2016.
Thanks to Denise Neary & Orla McDonagh for sharing this conference report.