Inventing Musical Gesture

© Florian Kleinefenn

© Florian Kleinefenn

The notion of musical gesture has become omnipresent during the 21st century, in the discourse of composers and in musicology research. In contemporary creation, the invention of new gestures is above all a collaborative effort involving performers, composers, but also dancers and musical instrument-makers. This day will bring together practitioners and researchers to reflect on a common theme: what are the processes for gesture invention today and what role does technology play?

Organization: Zubin Kanga, Nicolas Donin, and the team from the GEMME project.

Website Geste.hypotheses

With the support of the Agence nationale de la recherche.



9:30 | Introduction
Nicolas Donin and Zubin Kanga

9:45 | Composer/performer explorations towards a gesture-based understanding of musical composition and performance
David Gorton (Royal Academy of Music, London) and Stefan Österjö (Malmö Academy of Music)

10:45 | Fitting of the music to the action: Wilhelm Bruck and the instrumental theatre
Jean-François Trubert (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis)

11:35 | Break

11:55 | Controlling gesture: an exploration of shared responsibilities in translating notation into plastic terms
Neil Heyde (Royal Academy of Music, London)

14:15 | Sculpting the Air: a conversation with Jesper Nordin on building and performing gestural instruments
Jesper Nordin (ManiFeste featured composer) and Marc Desmons (conductor, Ensemble TM+) in conversation with Zubin Kanga (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis)

14:50 | Journey forms: from semiotics to gesture in the interpretation and performance of open notation for organ and electronics
Lauren Redhead (Canterbury Christ Church University)

15:40 | Break

16:00 | Building virtual instruments: case studies of gestural innovation in works for piano and electronics
Zubin Kanga (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis)

16:50 | Performers’ idiomatic playing techniques and composers’ work notions: exploring varieties of creative collaboration in the 21st century
Nicolas Donin (IRCAM) and Michelle Magalhaes (IRCAM)

17:40 | Roundtable Discussion