Music in Movement (launched in 2011) is a multi-disciplinary research project funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR) initiated by the Swedish guitarist Stefan Östersjö. The project builds on an expanded notion of musical gesture and the concept of merging the practices of choreographer and composer in the production of musical works that are conceived not merely as sonic entities but as compound units of sound and visual gesture. Music in Movement attempts to develop artistic strategies that allow musical composition and choreography to amalgamate and give rise to novel modes of expression.
Building on a multimodal conception of human perception recent research on musical gesture finds gestural images to be integral to the perception of music. In musical performance, these visual gesture-types and the sounding result of the actions create compound units that Rolf-Inge Godøy calls gestural-sonic objects. However, the theory and terminology for these new approaches to musical gesture is still in progress.
The research methodology is characterised by hybrid methods merging artistic practice with qualitative and quantitative analytical tools. Within Music in Movement, composers from Asia, Europe and USA have collaborated with the Swedish/Vietnamese group The Six Tones and the choreographer Marie Fahlin, video artists, technicians, light designers etc. in the creation of a series of films, installation- and performance art and a triple concerto with film, choreography and orchestra.
The Anatomy of the Moment (launched in 2012 and funded by the Swedish Research Council) aims to research the possibilities for collaborations between dramatist, actors, composer, and musicians on the basis of the situation in the play.
Originally, in actors’ practice, the “situation” stands for the circumstances proposed for the character, both in a global perspective with a view to the play as a whole, and in the successive scenes. Thus also, the situation becomes the ground for the actor’s understanding of his/her lines and actions as the character.
It has turned out that this approach is not only useful for the actor’s work but also for the integration of other expressive means in the theatre performance. In this way, a leading idea for the research project is to create a living environment and a common ground for theatre work that transcends boundaries between different art forms.
Another aim is to find out points of contacts between artistic and scientific research. In this context contemporary cognitive science attracts particular interest, in the sense that theories in this field can help explain how artistic work can be a quest for knowledge in its own right.
The project is led by Jörgen Dahlqvist, Kent Olofsson and Erik Rynell, and includes a series of theatre performances, video installations and multimodal music/performance art.
In the borderland between song and speech. Vocal expressions in oral cultures. This project spans over several language and music settings in societies where oral transmission of culture dominates. The aim of the project is to gain increased knowledge through collaboration between researchers with different approaches, to develop an interdisciplinary method for analysis of such expressions and to use this method in an intercultural study including several language and music settings. A long-term aim is also to play a part in the revitalization of such oral traditions and to contribute to their sustainability. The project started in 2012 and is led by Håkan Lundström. It is financed by the Swedish Research Council.
ARTs, agency and social mobility: Intergenerational transmission of Sami culture in family, educational and community settings (ARTIS). This research study by Ylva Hofvander Trulsson focused on intergenerational discourses and dialogue on Sami culture and its relationship to contemporary society in Sweden and Norway. In Hofvander Trulsson’s previous research a strong discourse on social mobility and ‘class remobility’ has been found in relation to learning music and arts. Culture, music and arts can be assumed to strengthen the Sami habitus and create a social reconstruction of Sami identity and agency. In addition, for the Sami, the historical relationship to the geographical areas is of great importance for feelings of belonging and social mobility.
The experience of context (both in a physical and symbolic meaning) can be seen as a social capital with a potential to be further developed as a resource for children and youth in transition. This study will be important for the field of education and arts since it will enhance our knowledge on inclusive pedagogy in compulsory, ‘municipal school of music and arts’, as well as leisure time learning in general. The project is funded by The Swedish Research Council.