What music, what politics? How corporate work and academia made me improvise more.

Ghikas, P. (2015) What music, what politics? How corporate work and academia made me improvise more. In: Conference: Compositional Aesthetics and the Political, 21st February, 2015, Department of Music, Goldsmiths, University of London.

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Using a personal account of experiences inside and outside the frame of academic engagement, I will pose a series of questions related to compositional practice and the mutual impact it has with the political. In many respects, political developments (local and global) in the last 10-15 years have combined with the new age of technological utopia (or dystopia) to engender attitudes towards art and particularly music-making that seem to further challenge ‘traditional’ modes and methods of modernist expression. One of the most surprising aspects of having worked in both corporate and academic (‘creative’) environments has been to observe how much their language and underlying philosophies are gradually converging, mainly with regards to ‘avant’ practices, ‘cutting edge’ concepts, ‘innovative’ research, customer/audience/student experience. Working with people who labour hard to manipulate public perception using tools of the industry, such as my own musical output’s “emotional investment” I have experienced alienation, fascination, bemusement, disappointment and finally a liberating sense of Machiavellian misanthropy. I have also earned a living, which in turn has provided me with essential research time to develop my concepts and practices combining compositional and improvisational approaches. I have been able to curate performances and produce new music releases. In this typical Faustian narrative, advertising agencies unintentionally fund marginal, non-profit compositional research. Beyond the obvious field of discussion regarding public funding versus private sponsorship, a few less obvious questions arise: Can I compose my way out of a language of collective agency? Can I observe the linguistics of politics and use the discourse analysis as material for music-making? Is this political?

Performance: improvised solo performance

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Music and Performing Arts
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Panos Ghikas
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2016 13:26
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2016 09:15
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14204

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00