(Just one moment)

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The Apes of God: Dramatising the Polyphonic Line in a Microcosmic World.

Abstract: This will—among other things—be a talk about various moments where the musical and notational space is re-imagined to represent non-acoustic parameters: where we are encouraged to read between the lines. From early theories of motion and impetus, to speculative writings about universal harmony, to accounts of what we might now call ‘ensemble culture’, musical practice has always been ‘about’ more than just sound. Common parlance speaks of leaders and companions, agents and patients, feminines and masculines that physicalise and narrativise the musical space. On a grander scale astronomers like Johannes Kepler imagine earthly harmony as a mimic of motions and interactions in the larger cosmos. Zarlino considers the four basic voice-parts analogous to the four classical elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Earlier thinkers like Oresme and Ficino enfold music-making into their metaphysics. It’s the hope that by interacting with this particular history of inaudible similitudes, we’ll uncover a new and interesting way of conceptualising and incorporating the experiential side of polyphony into our own listening practice.