Contemporary notions of musical virtuosity redevelop historic concepts and demonstrate that our present understanding of virtuosity in western art music has shifted from what seemed, for a time, to be a relatively clear and stable definition. In the field and the academy, lively debates around the definition and/or value of virtuosity have always elicited strong and varied ideas. In the twenty-first century, frictions have emerged between traditional definitions of virtuosity and contemporary practices that emphasise collaboration and blur roles between performers, composers, and improvisers. Contemporary Musical Virtuosities embraces the evolving processes, practitioners, and presentation models within twenty-first century art music.
This edited collection explores recent insights into the experience and role of virtuosity in different contexts, via contributions from an intergenerational group of artists, academics, and artist-academics. Their writing highlights current themes in contemporary western art music and intersecting musical and performing arts genres such as dance, sound art, improvisation, jazz, trans-traditional collaborations, and Australian Indigenous music. It offers models for supporting and recognising a plurality of musical virtuosities typically excluded from traditional definitions and examines implications for musical practice today. Chapters take the form of academic essays, artist reflections, interviews, personal letters, and a manifesto, reflecting the range of approaches and contexts covered.
The collection includes first writings on practices that have been present in the industry for some time not yet documented or examined in detail until now, and thus offers a vision for the future that prioritises inclusive and overlapping practices and processes in music.
1.Contemporary musical virtuosities, Louise Devenish, Cat Hope and Sam McAuliffe 2. Virtue restored, virtue shared, Jonathan Impett 3. Virtuosity, pleasure and violence, Salomé Voegelin 4. Songman? Considering virtuosity and Noongar song revitalisation, Clint Bracknell 5. Virtuosity of the Self: Investigating how the disabled dancer develops singular virtuosity, Molly Joyce 6. Virtuosities of the native alien, Sandeep Bhagwati 7. The practice of social virtuosity, Maggie Nicols 8. On The New Virtuosity Manifesto, Louise Devenish and Cat Hope 9. Virtuosity and the Commons, Margaret Schedel and Suzanne Thorpe 10. Moving for machines: How performing with sensors results in a new virtuosity, Cathy van Eck 11. Developing gestural virtuosity for electronic music, Iran Sanadzadeh 12. Always preparing for spontaneity, Echo Ho, Alberto de Campo and Hannes Hölzl 13. Virtuosity, post-instrumental practice, and collapse: A correspondence, Louise Devenish and Jennifer Torrence 14. Skills and sensitivities: Designing collaborative site-specific soundworks, Ros Bandt 15. ‘Rrrrreaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrghhhhh!!!!’: Evolving vocal virtuosity in extreme metal, Karina Utomo and Cat Hope 16. The interrogation of instrumental technology in Liza Lim's ‘Invisibility’, David Moran