Professor Nicholas Cook (University of Cambridge)
May 12th, 19th, 26th, June 2nd
Senate Room, Senate House, 5.30-7pm
Musical encounters: Studies in relational musicology
This lecture series borrows its title from Nicolas Bourriaud's 'relational aesthetics', the idea that some forms of art are best understood in terms of the social relationships they forge between its spectators. I see this idea as applicable to music in general, and understand such relationships as encompassing all musical events, whether face-to-face or distributed in time and space. Beginning with what I call the relational practices of music—such as its role in therapy and conflict transformation—I explore how music conditions social relationships and affords constructions of identity, in both historical and contemporary contexts and in both the real and virtual worlds. Particular areas that I explore from a relational perspective include cross-cultural interaction, examining ideas of encounter and influence from the Hindostannie air to Debussy and the gamelan; creativity, long thought of as an individual faculty but better understood as social process, whether in the real-time interactions of group performance or the symbolic interactions of compositional imagination; and the world of the Viennese classics, interpreted not in terms of the retrospective construction of individual subjectivity that gave rise to musicology as we know it, but rather from a social and relational perspective that renders even the most familiar of music unfamiliar.
May 12: 'Socialities'
May 19: 'Influences'
May 26: 'Creativities'
June 2: 'Classics'
In association with the School of Advanced Study.
Seminars for Research Students with Professor Nicholas Cook
The lectures on May 19th, 26th, and June 2nd will be preceded by research seminars with Prof. Cook, in room 261, Senate House, 3-4.30pm.