Residential symposium at Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, 11-13 September 2008



Day 1

Thursday 11 September 2008
3.45-4.15pm: Tea/coffee
6.30-8.00pm: Dinner

Day 2

Friday 12 September 2008
11.30-12.00pm: Tea/coffee
1.30-2.30pm: Lunch
4.00-4.30pm: Tea/coffee
7.00-8.30pm: Dinner

Day 3

Saturday 13 September 2008
11.15-11.30am: Tea/coffee
1.00pm: Lunch and disperse



John Carewe, Robert Max, Ian Partridge, Jeremy Summerly and Susan Tomes (Chair: Timothy Day)

Panel discussion - Classical performers on classical performance I & II

There are a vast number of words spoken or written by performers about recorded performances – in radio and TV archives, in biographies and autobiographies, in journalistic sources of all kinds – which have hardly begun to be investigated by musicologists. What value might these have for analysts and historians of performance?

I: Making recordings - In the first session the panellists will examine the reasons why musicians wish to record at all and what they seek to do in making a recording. What kinds of relationship have existed between performer, sound engineer, producer? And when the recording is eventually sent out into the world, whose recording is it anyway?

II: Listening to recordings - Why do performers listen to recordings, or avoid them? What authority might one recording possess for another performer? Some musicians listen to a composer’s recorded interpretation and some deliberately avoid it, allowing their re-creative imaginations to feed on the text alone on the assumption that the notes understand one another better than the composer understands them. What do performers know of the performance traditions in which they work? What do they wish historians of performance traditions to tell them?

The teachers of John Carewe included Walter Goehr and Max Deutsch – both pupils of Schoenberg – Messiaen, with whom he studied in Paris on a French Government scholarship, and Pierre Boulez. In 1966 William Glock appointed him principal conductor of the BBC Welsh Orchestra and he was also principal conductor of the Fires of London. He has given British premieres of music by a host of composers including Birtwistle, Maxwell Davies, Goehr, Messiaen, Milhaud, Maderna, Nono, Boulez and Stockhausen. Since 1980 he has worked chiefly as gust conductor in Europe, and recent engagements have included appearances with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Dresden Philharmonic, Nürnberg Symphonie, Orchestre National de Lyon and Helsinki Philharmonic. Among his most admired recordings are discs of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Milhaud’s La Création du Monde and Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale.

Timothy Day was for many years a curator in the sound archive of the British Library. His publications include A Century of Recorded Music: Listening to Musical History (Yale University Press, 2000), and he is currently writing a book on the sound made by English cathedral choirs in the last century. He is a visiting research fellow at King's College London and chair of CHARM's Academic Advisory Board.

Robert Max performs as conductor, solo cellist and chamber musician. He was appointed Musical Director of the Oxford Symphony Orchestra in 2005, and conducts the Symphony and String Orchestras at Royal Holloway, University of London. He appears regularly as concerto soloist and in concert with his wife, the pianist Zoe Solomon, and has been cellist of the Barbican Piano Trio since 1987. His many recordings include two CDs with the Zemel Choir, the UK’s leading mixed-voice Jewish Choir, for Olympia; music by Schnittke for ASV; by Margaret Hubicki for Chandos; and by Sergei Taneyev on the Dutton label. Robert Max teaches cello at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music. He plays a Stradivarius cello dating from 1726 know as the ‘Comte de Saveuse’.

The tenor Ian Partridge has an international reputation as a concert singer and recitalist. His wide repertory encompasses Elizabethan lute songs, German, French and English songs, Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Schoenberg, Kurt Weill, and Prince Albert. He has always sung new music: he recently took part in performance of St Matthew Passion by the contemporary Norwegian composer Trond Kverno in New York, Minneapolis and Reykjavik. This, like so much of his repertory, he has recorded. He recorded Purcell, for example, with Mackerras in 1966, Willcocks in 1967, Harnoncourt in 1973, Malgoire in 1980, and Christophers in 1991. His version of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin was first choice in BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library. Ian Partridge is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music and has directed masterclasses on Lieder, English Song and Early Music from Aldeburgh to Vancouver, from Versailles to Helsinki.

Jeremy Summerly studied music at Oxford University and then undertook musicological research at King’s College London while also working as a Studio Manager for BBC Radio. He is Head of Academic Studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Besides lecturing he writes and presents radio programmes and edits for Faber Music. He founded the Oxford Camerata in 1984 and between 1990 and 1996 he was conductor of Schola Cantorum of Oxford. He made his conducting debut at the BBC Proms in 1999 and at the Berlin Philharmonie in 2005. He has given concert tours throughout Europe and the United States as well as in Israel, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Botswana. Jeremy Summerly has released over forty commercial recordings of music spanning nine centuries. He has conducted Ligeti for Ligeti, and Kagel for Kagel, and Pärt for Pärt.

Susan Tomes, who studied music at Cambridge University, is the pianist of the Florestan Trio, which won the 1999 Gramophone Award for chamber music, and the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2000. She is also a frequent solo recitalist and as a concerto soloist has appeared recently with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Manchester Camerata, the Grand Rapids Symphony and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Many of her forty-five CDs have won prizes including three Gramophone Awards, and several Diapasons d’Or and Deutsche Schallplattenpreise. She writes for the Guardian, writes and presents radio programmes, and is the author of two books on performance issues, Beyond the Notes, which came out in 2004, and in 2006, A Musician’s Alphabet.

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George Brock-Nannestad, Martin Elste, Pekka Gronow, Peter Martland, Nick Morgan, David Patmore (Chair: Eric Clarke)

Panel discussion - The business of recordings

This roundtable session brings together several of the world’s leading authorities on the business, cultural and technological histories of the recording industry as an international entity, from Denmark, Germany and Finland, as well as the United Kingdom. The session will provide both panellists and conference attendees with a unique opportunity to discuss the various different influences at work on for instance musical style and taste from the dawn of recording onwards, including the significance of both multi-national and small independent record companies, and technological innovation.

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Anna Kounadi, Dario Sarlo and Mizuka Yamamoto (Chair: Stephen Cottrell)

Panel discussion - Recordings and musical performance: doctoral perspectives

The growing interest within academic in the study of recorded music is manifested in a variety of ways. One of these is in the increased number of PhD candidates who are including the study of recorded musical performance as part of their doctoral research. In some cases such research is a component of a programme which combines both ‘conventional’ scholarly work with an assessed performance by the candidate themselves. The University of London offers such a programme, a PhD in Performance Practice, and there are a number of students presently enrolled – already highly skilled performers – who are studying recordings in some way, in part to inform their own approaches to particular repertoire. Issues relating the study of recordings to the impact (or otherwise) on the final performance inevitably form a component of such research. In this panel three such candidates will reflect on their work and its relationship to their performance studies, followed by an open discussion on the issues raised. East speaker takes a very different approach: Anna Kounadi will discuss her work on a wide range of historical and contemporary performances of Scriabin’s second piano sonata; Dario Sarlo will consider his engagement with the work of one particular performer, Jascha Heifetz, and particularly the latter’s approach to Bach’s E major Prelude; and Mizuka Yamamoto will illustrate how the examination of a smaller number of recordings of Cage’s Freeman Etudes problematises the concept of the work itself, given the notational ambiguities inherent in the piece.

After an early career as a professional saxophonist, Stephen Cotrell is now Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Music at Goldsmiths College, London. His published work largely comprises ethnographic approaches to Western art music and musicians. Forthcoming publications include a monograph on the saxophone for Yale University Press and chapters on ‘Performance in the Twentieth Century’ and ‘The Rise and Rise of Phonomusicology’ for edited volumes to be published by Cambridge University Press.

Anna Kounadi graduated from Athens Conservatory with a ‘Soloist’s Diploma’ before completing two postgraduate courses at Trinity College of Music (the Advanced Diploma Course with Philip Fowke and Master’s Diploma Course [with Distinction] with Yonty Solomon). She has won and received important prizes in Greek and international piano competitions and has performed in Europe, the United States and Asia. She is presently completing doctoral research on recorded performances of Scriabin’s Sonata-Fantasy Op. 19 No. 2. Anna is also a graduate of the Law School at Athens University, and is a qualified lawyer and member of the Athens Law Association.

Dario Sarlo completed an undergraduate degree at King’s College London, with violin and orchestration tuition at the Royal Academy of Music. This led to an MMus in Performance and Related Studies at Goldsmiths College, where he submitted a dissertation on Fritz Kreisler’s ‘Baroque’ pieces. He was subsequently awarded an AHRC scholarship to pursue a PhD, examining the performance legacy of Jascha Heifetz and the significance of this legacy for modern violinists. Since starting the PhD Dario has won various other scholarships, and has spent nearly a year working on the extensive Heifetz Collection at the Kluge Research Centre in the Library of Congress, Washington DC.

Mizuka Yamamoto has performed throughout the UK as a violin soloist, specialising particularly in contemporary music. She studied at the Tokyo College of Music in Japan (BMus), the Royal College of Music (PGDip), and is currently studying late twentieth-century solo violin repertoire for a PhD at Goldsmiths College, where she previously gained an MMus. She studies violin with Peter Manning and Irvine Arditti. She will perform Steve Reich’s Violin Phase on 13 September 2008 as a part of a Minimalism Colloquium at Goldsmiths College.

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Matthias Arter

History of interpretation 1913-33. Beethoven's Fifth: a passage to the nineteenth century

Listening to the most recent CD recordings of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony makes one think that presently we are in a remarkable crisis of interpretation. We notice a significant lack of personality amongst conductors and a conformity in many parameters of musical language: Beethoven has to be explosive, the trumpets, horns and timpani have to dominate with harsh attacks, the vertical structure is almost invariably brought to the fore, the tempo has to be steady... we are in a really boring period of interpretation concerning Beethoven’s symphonies!

Matthias Arter, head of a research project at the University of Arts Berne (Switzerland) dealing with the first historical recordings of Beethoven’s Fifth (made between 1913 and 1933) is also principal oboe of the Basel Chamber Orchestra. Before recording the Fifth during this summer with this group, Matthias decided to show some of these first historical recordings to the orchestra and its conductor Giovanni Antonini. This presentation had quite a remarkable influence on the subsequent recording, especially thanks to the impressive renderings left by Arthur Nikisch and Sir Landon Ronald.

The research project itself had the following content:

  • 1st step: finding all recordings and converting them into the same 'format' (such as equalising the sound level, setting the same tracks). The program 'click&amp;play' has been specifically developed for this aim ('easy comparing') and provides comparative timings of all tracks.
  • 2nd step: reading of the relevant sources (e.g. E.T.A. Hoffmann, A. B. Marx, R. Wagner, R. Strauss, F. Weingartner) and collating the most relevant excerpts with the score.
  • 3rd step: getting all available information on the circumstances of the recordings (orchestral information, used parts and scores, program sheets, details about the conductors, the labels and reviews).
  • 4th step: detailed listening analysis of all recordings - describing the general character (balance, sound impression, orchestral standard, stability of tempo, vibrato, portamento, rubato) and adding more specific observations.
  • 5th step: building different groups and schools of the conductors in question, finding stylistic lines that may point back to the original performing traditions of the 19th century, which must remain mute for us.

Matthias Arter’s musical vocation has followed an unconventional path. For many years now he has appeared as soloist and improviser, his lively interest in contemporary art forms and unconventional programme concepts determining new aesthetic directions. In his capacity as composer Matthias Arter has made public appearances with works for choir, solo voices, orchestra, solo instruments and some chamber music. He also works as chamber music player (e.g. Octomania, Arion Quintet, Collegium Novum Zurich, æquatuor), as principal oboe of the Chamber Orchestra of Basel, teaches at the University of the Arts Berne and is president of the Swiss Composers Association. His soloistic career has been documented by numerous CDs on Panclassics, col legno, MGB, Arte Nova, RecRec and en avant.

He studied with Thomas Indermühle and Heinz Holliger, appearing subsequently in many international festivals for contemporary music. Matthias’s own project organisation, pre-art (, explores the field of intercultural exchange. In addition to these activities he is head of a research project at University of the Arts, Berne, which deals with questions of interpretation based on old recordings.

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Amy Carruthers

Out of the concert hall and into the control room: Mackerras and his musicians in the recording studio

Since the invention of recordings, musicians’ lives have been enriches, but also complicated, as musical performance has been divided into two activities: performing live and making a recording. But is the one representative of the other? Is a recording just a live performance, captured? My research into the career of the conductor Sir Charles Mackerras suggests that the answer is ‘no’: musicians seem to adapt their style to the playing environment and occasion, and record producers must manipulate those sounds in order to create a successful recording.

It then seems worth considering a recording as a separate activity to a performance. My research has prompted me to ask musicians to compare their experiences of the concert hall with that of the recording studio, and their replies have been enlightening. Drawing from my interviews with Mackerras, musicians he has worked with, and some of the producers and engineers responsible for his recordings, as well as my observations of recording sessions, I aim to provide an insight into this world. I will explore what they have told me about how they use recordings, what their attitudes are to them, and how they approach and deal with the recording process.

Throughout his career, Mackerras has listened to his own recordings as a means of improving his performances. He also has been influenced by recorded performances by conductors from earlier eras. Orchestra musicians have a professional approach to the recording process, but are generally not as comfortable in the studio as on the concert platform. This is due to issues such as the current unrealistic expectations of perfection, of accuracy taking precedence over expression in a product that must bear repeated hearing. On the positive side, recordings are a good means of dissemination, a lucrative source of income (although decreasingly so as the industry declines), and if one is a soloist or chamber musician, an opportunity to try to achieve one’s ideal conception of a work.

We consume a huge proportion of our music through recordings, but too seldom do we ask ourselves what we’re really listening to. By drawing on observations and specialist knowledge in these fields, one could cast some light on this process which usually occurs behind the closed doors of the recording studio, and on musicians’ relationship with this modern mode of musical performance.

Amy Carruthers ’s research interests revolve around performance practice and recordings, and by definition involve a focus on the twentieth century and the cultural contexts of music-making. She completed her BMus and MMus degrees at King’s College London, where she is now undertaking doctoral research under the supervision of Professor Daniel Leech-Wilkinson. Her thesis is focused on the conductor Charles Mackerras: she is investigating his recordings and live performances, exploring the issues that arise when comparing these two very different performance situations. In addition to detailed analysis of the performances, there is a strong contextual aspect to this research which involves interviewing Sir Charles himself, the musicians, producers, and engineers he works with, and fieldwork observation of the rehearsal, concert, and recording processes.

Amy’s interests in both the theory and practice of music extend beyond her research, which she balances with her career both as a violin teacher and a performer. In addition to this, she has worked as research assistant to Timothy Day at the British Library Sound Archive, done work for Cambridge University Press, undertaken the role of teaching assistant for several courses at King’s College London, done research for Nicholas Kenyon during his times as director of the BBC Proms, coordinated the 2007 conference The Proms and British Musical Life (held at the British Library in partnership with the BBC and King’s College London).

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Mine Doğantan-Dack

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something true: questions of aesthetics and epistemology in using recordings

Recording technology and the recorded artefacts it makes possible have extended the range of possible listening practices in hitherto unimaginable ways. In this presentation, I wish to explore the nature of listening practices as observed by performing musicians in the classical genre. Adopting an aesthetic and epistemological standpoint, I shall introduce the concept of ‘expert learning’, and discuss how performers learn from listening to recordings and from performing live. I ask whether there are any significant differences in the ways classical performers listen to historical as opposed to newly made recordings. I also examine how hearing oneself through a recording and in a live performance contribute to the representation of the self as a performing musician. What kind of aesthetic sensibilities define the relationship between the performer and her recorded performance, and how are these different in the case of a live event? Throughout my discussion, the concept of tradition will play a significant role; since recordings mean different things in different musical traditions, there is no unanimous answer to the questions ‘how do musicians use recordings?’; the way performers listen to and use recordings are very much determined by the traditions of the musical genre in question. I will also briefly explore if recordings can be made with research imperatives in mind.

Mine Doğantan-Dack was born in Istanbul. She holds BM and MM in piano performance (The Julliard School), and received her PhD in Music Theory from Columbia University, New York. While at Julliard she won the prestigious William Petschek award. Mine regularly performs as a soloist and chamber musician. She recorded the music of JS Bach and Scriabin for WNCN. She also recorded various programs for the Turkish radio and television. She has published articles on the history of music theory, expressivity in music performance, and affective responses to music. Her book titled Mathis Lussy: A Pioneer in Studies of Expressive Performance was published in 2002 by Peter Lang AG. She has recently edited a book titled Recorded Music: Philosophical and Critical Reflections, which will be published by Middlesex University Press in November 2008. Mine is the founder of the Marmara Piano Trio, and recent recipient of an AHRC award for her research in chamber music performance. She is currently leading the music research programme at Middlesex University in London. She was awarded Dozency in 2002 and Professorship in 2008 by the Turkish Ministry of Education. Mine is married to musicologist Dr John Dack and has a 21-month-old daughter.

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Martin Elste

From local to global performing styles. Some thoughts and some facts about the impact of mass-marketed recordings

Is there an Austrian Bach and Mozart performance practice? If so, to what extent do sound recordings serve as documents and as media of dissemination for it? My contribution to the subject of this CHARM symposium will focus on historic Bach and Mozart recordings made by Austrian musicians. These discs will be used as the source material for a case study of the extent to which regional and/or national characteristics of performing styles play an important part in the making, marketing, and appreciation of recorded musical performances.

Martin Elste (born in 1952) studied musicology and mass communication in Cologne, London, and Berlin, where he concluded his studies with Carl Dahlhaus in 1981 with his doctoral thesis on Bach’s Art of Fugue on Records. Since 1982 he has been working at the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung, Berlin, as curator in the Museum of Musical Instruments. Elste was Chair of the Discography Committee as well as Vice President of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives, and is an Advisory Board member of the Comité International de Musées et Collections d'Instruments de Musique. He acted on the Advisory Boards of the Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound in the United States (1993) and of the revised edition of Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Since 2000, Elste has been President of the German Record Critics' Award. Besides working as music and record critic, he has written more than 200 articles as well as ten monographs. For his book Meilensteine der Bach-Interpretation 1750–2000 he was given the ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.

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Beth Elverdam and George Brock-Nannestad

How musicians use recordings in discourse and praxis - in the perspective of an anthropological dynamic concept of culture

The performing culture of musicians is subjected to a variety of influences. They are growing up in a music or performing tradition that is part of the environment. If they are performers they will frequently receive some sort of tuition, and they are thereby socialised into a particular performing tradition. Recordings is another kind of cultural influence. The recordings may be the recordings of others', or recordings of own, endeavours. Recordings may be available in such a form that they can be played over and over again.

We shall take our stand in a dynamic anthropological concept of culture. This regards culture as a dynamic process, in which cultural phenomena (concepts) are created and recreated in one and the same process. Hereby the daily praxis is suspended between that, which was/is and that which shall come, in a process that both ensures tradition and renewal relating to music performers. The fundamental tenet is that culture as such has elements that in this case are both the praxis of music as well as reflections on it, which may be verbalised and hence analysed 'discoursively'. But equally that large parts of the cultural praxis is tacit culture that is only expressed non- verbally through praxis and devoid of reflection. In this relationship we see the playing itself as tacit culture.

In the analysis we wish to elucidate the types of recording musicians use, how they use them and how they influence their musical praxis. We wish to identify how they express this influence in their discoursive descriptions (such as biographies, interviews) and whether there is a link between the discourse and the musical praxis as shown in their performances or approval of commercial recordings. It is hence the intention to contrast the discourse and praxis. This approach is useful, because cultural changes do not become manifest until they are recognisable in praxis and become part of the 'taken for granted'.

Preliminary findings on material relating to Alfred Brendel, Martha Argerich, and Glenn Gould as well as Vladimir Ashkenazy (as conductor) will be presented.

Beth Elverdam graduated with a Magistra Scientiaria (research degree) in ethnography and social anthropology from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark in 1980. Since 1996 she has been an Associate Professor at the Institute of Community Health, Department of General Practice, University of Southern Denmark. Beth’s many research interests include: anthropology in Denmark in relation to everyday life; cultural aspects in everyday praxis and the relation of praxis versus ideology; relations to health and food in families with children; social anthropology within general practice and hospital; communication between patient and doctor; the meeting of different cultures in the health care system; narratives - patients and doctors; discourse and linguistic anthropology; and the use of anthropological perspectives within non-anthropological areas such as music.

Beth has carried out fieldwork in the hospital setting (maternity, gynaecology and oncology) and in general everyday practice (during consultation, out-of-hours, and medical audit). Comparative field studies have also been carried out in the USA. She is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute.</p><p>

Born in 1946, George Brock-Nannestad graduated in electronics and signal processing in 1971. He trained as a patent attorney, focussing on studies in musical acoustics, and in 1981-86 worked on the project ‘The establishment of objective criteria for correct reproduction of historical sound recordings’ funded by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities.

George became a European Patent Attorney in 1989, becoming involved with the School of Conservation of the Royal Danish Academy for Fine Art from 1991-98. In this latter role, George was responsible for research and tuition in preservation and restoration of carriers for sound, moving images, and data.

Since 1997 George has worked as a private consultant for Patent Tactics specialising in patents, restoration concepts and the history of AV technology. He is a member of IASA, AES, ARCS, AFAS, Newcomen Society, ICOM, and the Danish Musicological Society.

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Anthony Gritten

Performing after recording

When and how are digital recordings useful to performers of Western classical music? This paper on the relationship between today’s performer and digital recordings (hereinafter ‘recordings’) explores these questions from the performer’s perspective. Although the topic is recordings, the focus is on what the performer thinks she does and does not do live on stage.

In section one, I set up the standard – and still useful – conception of performing works, and note how recordings seem to challenge the performative singularity of aesthetic judgment involved in performing works live on stage, and to threaten, according to some, the uniqueness of the performing event through their repeatability. I ask whether we can distinguish live performing events from recorded performances in terms of singularity, which, on the face of it, constitutes the primary cultural value of the former, but leave open the question of whether this distinction can actually be sustained today in the wake of techno-scientific developments. In section two, I outline some contexts in which today’s performer and performative set-up find themselves: digital technologies, virtual realities, and shifting societal formations and consumer patterns. In section three, I confront the paradox of recordings – their temporality is reliant upon yet independent from the temporality of performing live – and ask why performers naturally resist (or should resist, speaking pedagogically) the distraction offered by this paradox: why they do not generally take recordings as a panacea for their needs on stage.

I use the issue of recordings as a way of approaching singularity, and singularity as a way of framing contemporary aesthetic judgment. This essay follows the cultural displacement of the performer by recordings, hence my title: performing through and by means of – after, d’après, nach, via – recording.

Anthony Gritten is Head of the Department of Performing Arts (Music, Theatre, Dance) at Middlesex University. Prior to this he was Head of Postgraduate Studies and Research at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and before that a Lecturer and latterly Head of School at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. At Cambridge his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Alexander Goehr focused on the subject of ‘Stravinsky’s Voices’. His research interests include Stravinsky; the philosophy and aesthetics of music; and performance studies. He has contributed chapters to several interdisciplinary volumes, including the follow-up volume, Music and Gesture 2, co-edited with Elaine King for Ashgate. His longer term project is a book on Music with Bakhtin, commissioned by Indiana University Press, and making use of his previous publications on the subject. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and gives circa ten recitals a year, including numerous premieres of French works; in 2005 he toured Kagel’s Rrrrrrr… around the UK, and in 2007 he performed the complete works of Buxtehude in a single six-and-a-half hour recital to celebrate the tercentenary of the composer’s death.

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Pekka Gronow

Recycling history: learning performance practice from records

The idea that some records are ‘historical’ first emerged in the 1930s, when collectors started to compile listings of interesting old records. The first discographers focused on opera and jazz. The decade also saw the birth of the first labels specialising on specific types of music. Not surprisingly, these included jazz and historical opera recordings. In classical music, interest in historical recordings was mainly limited to collectors, while specialist labels such as L’Anthologie Sonore promoted much earlier performance practice. But in jazz, ‘historical’ recordings gave birth to a school of players which attempted to recreate the jazz idiom of the 1910s and 1920s, the first case of a musical movement based primarily on the example of historical records.

Although the idiom which the traditionalists aimed to recreate was only a few decades old, jazz styles had already changed rapidly. The old New Orleans musicians had never been heard in Europe, many of them were already dead by the 1940s. The traditional jazz movement was the creation of a small group of idealists who promoted reissues of historical records and wrote jazz histories where these recordings were given canonical status. As jazz performance practice was mainly transmitted orally, reissues became the principal models for European traditional jazz players in the 1940s and 1950s. They, in turn, made recordings for specialist labels which spread the idiom further. The process can be compared with more general models based on the study of the diffusion of innovations and ideas.

Pekka Gronow is adjunct professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Helsinki. His books include An International History of the Recording Industry. He has just finished a twenty-year stint as manager of the YLE sound archives (Finnish Broadcasting Company) and is starting a project with the Gesellschaft für historische Tonträger (Society for Historical Sound Recordings) to document the history of the Carl Lindström company, the German multi-national which operated on a global scale (as part of Columbia after 1925, and part of EMI from 1931).

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Andrew Hallifax

The engineer as stylist

Though it is often claimed that an audio recording documents an acoustic music performance the sense in which it can be thought to do so is seldom made explicit. Even when a recording’s authenticity or truthful adherence to the sound itself is impugned, the notional existence of an infinite number of original sounds – depending on the auditor’s perspective – render the subject as insubstantial and ephemeral as the very sound it is seeking to describe. Busy tilting at these windmills, we seldom think to investigate more closely the prosaic practices of the sound engineer whose craft it is to model and stylise every manifestation of recorded and amplified sound: according to what criteria, or to whose taste, no one asks.

For many musicians and producers a recording is not so much a document as an idealised representation of a performance. If this is the case it behoves us to consider carefully the means by which the engineer transforms the experiential sound world of the concert hall into the idealised objet d’art of a recording and whether fidelity to reality really is the objective.

A music graduate of the University of East Anglia, Andrew Hallifax served an apprenticeship with the former Decca recording engineer Tryggvi Tryggvason before embarking on a career as an independent acoustic music engineer. In the course of engineering recordings with musicians from Vladimir Ashkenazy to Aziza Mustafa Zadeh; the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment to the London Sinfonietta, he has observed and worked alongside many of Europe’s and North America’s best-known recording producers and engineers. Andrew became CHARM’s transfer engineer in 2007. His Classical Musician’s Recording Handbook was published in 2002.

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Tony Harrison and Sigurd Slåttebrekk

Being the go-between: Recreating Grieg's 1903 Paris recordings

Our project investigates the possibility of reconstructing, or recreating an existing recorded performance. Although utilising many advanced techniques our recreations are session recordings that do not use synthesised sound or computer-driven data collection. Although creating a 'twin' as close as possible to the original is an important objective, an even more important issue for our work is to utilise this method as a practical means of in-depth performance analysis. We have attempted to work outwards and upwards from the smallest details, examining the structural effects of often very small performance events. Our approach has been to try to understand by working with all the performance elements simultaneously as they operate in real time rather than isolating particular parameters of interest. We will argue that through this holistic approach it also becomes possible to access information deeply embedded in a recorded performance that more passive or selective methods are less able to uncover.

Tony Harrison was born in London in 1957. After graduating he studied with the French conductor Diego Masson, and formed and conducted the Britton Chamber Orchestra which performed with great success in the following years. Since then he has conducted the Northern Sinfonia, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Orchestra of Norwegian Opera, and for three consecutive seasons, the Risør Festival Strings.

In recent years Tony has formed a close working relationship with the composer Stephen Frost, a collaboration which first came to fruition with the release of Frost’s The Lesson, Bassoon and Oboe Concertos on Chandos.

Born in Stavanger in 1968, Sigurd Slåttebrekk studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music with Einar Steen-Nøkleberg, and at the Julliard School of Music in New York. In 1991 he was named Debut Artist of the Year by Rikskonsertene, the Norwegian Concert Institute, launching him into a high-profile career as a concert pianist. Following a five-year hiatus Sigurd returned to the performing circuit in 2002 with a solo recital of music by Schumann in the Oslo Chamber Music Festival and an acclaimed Schumann disc for Simax.

Away from the concert platform Sigurd’s projects have included a very successful animation series for children’s television which was nominated for the International Emmy Award in 2006. Current interests include a further animation project, and the exploration of approaches for combining his interests in the visual and musical idioms in new and exciting ways.

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Aleksander Kolkowski and Federico Reuben

Horatio Oratorio: composing using historic sound recordings

Introducing a new performance and sound installation that employs archival sound sources, including some of the first recorded utterances and music. These are not only reproduced ‘authentically’ through phonographs and gramophones, but also used to extract pitches, rhythms and even supply a formal structure for the entire work. The presenters will focus on their collaborative work in mapping the sound recordings using various computer-aided analysis techniques and re-interpreting them using either acoustic instruments or electronic sounds. In this way, harmonic partials form a recording may be isolated and spoken words can become abstracted into pure melodies, gliding pitches and rhythms. Thus the recordings can be used not only to digitally manipulate or transform, but also to create the very substance or building blocks of a musical composition.

Furthermore, they will demonstrate how archaic recording techniques have been used in this work to age and decay sound. Digitally registered voices, instruments and electronic music are ‘processed’ by re-recording onto wax cylinders and acetate discs. Through the sound ‘patina’ produced by the antiquated recording media it is possible to make temporal shifts within the composition.

Horatio Oratorio is inspired by two main sources: Charles Tainter's first recorded words on his newly developed wax cylinder graphophone in 1881: "There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than are dreamed of in our philosophy..." and Handel's Oratorio Israel in Egypt, whose colossal 1888 Crystal Palace performance survives today in fragments as the first live recording of a concert. These landmarks in the history of sound recording also inform the structure and content of the work. This presentation will show how a wax cylinder phonograph can trigger musical events by using the latest machine listening techniques, inventively combining pioneer mechanical sound technology with state-of-the-art electronics and computer applications written specially for this project. Similarly, a live Stroh violinist improvises in ghost-like communion with an interactive music system that generates, in real-time, his own pre-recorded string sounds emerging from the horns of a remotely activated Stroh String Trio. Hand-cranked horn gramophones play specially recorded acetate 78 rpm discs and vintage sound effects, while a complex sound diffusion from eight loudspeakers finds it's counterpart in a huge array of antique horns creating a unique liaison between the contemporary and the obsolete.

The work was installed and performed at Sonic Arts Network's EXPO, Brighton &amp; at the Shunt Vaults, London Bridge (funded by the PRSF) in July, 2008.

Federico Reuben studied political science and music at Universidad de Costa Rica and music composition at the University of Maryland. He earned a Bachelors and Masters degree in composition from The Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, where he studied with Louis Andriessen, Richard Ayres and Gilius van Bergeijk. He also attended a one-year intensive course in Music Technology at The Institute of Sonology, The Netherlands. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at Brunel University where his supervisors are Richard Barrett and Christopher Fox. His research focuses on derivative music and plunderphonic strategies, processing existing music with the aid of computer technology and using the results as building blocks for new composition. Federico has composed music for ensembles including Ensemble MAE, Roentgen Connection, Ensemble Klang, Piano Circus, Python Saxophone Quartet and Royal Ensemble.

Aleksander Kolkowski studied music at London University and the Royal Academy of Music where his tutors included Clarence Myerscough (violin), John Tilbury (piano) and Hugh Davies (electronic music). Since 1983 he has worked internationally as a violinist, improviser, solo performer and composer appearing in major festivals worldwide, premiering works by leading composers and recording on numerous labels. Over the past ten years he has explored the potential of pre-electronic sound reproduction technology, combining horned violins, gramophones and wax cylinder phonographs to make contemporary live mechanical-acoustic music. This work has been shown widely in Europe, in the USA and also featured on the BBC, WDR & Deutschlandradio radio stations. In 2002 he founded Recording Angels, a project that examines our relationship to recorded sound using phonographs and acetate record cutters in performances and installations. Large-scale works have been commissioned by the Berliner Festspiele and the BFI South Bank.

He collects Stroh stringed instruments and vintage recording technology, is a regular contributor to Resonance FM and is currently researching for a PhD at Brunel University.

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Peter Martland

Recording artists: the first generation

This paper seeks to shed light on the first generation of British recording artists: an aspect of the early recording industry to which current literature has paid scant attention. This paper explores a number of different features of their recording studio careers examining, for example, what they were paid, how they perceived their recordings and recording careers, and how they were regarded by their record companies. This is intended to show how this new industry used familiar forms of contracts and advertising to obtain and promote records.

Peter Martland was both undergraduate and PhD student at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in the 1980s. He is a research associate at the College and is also a member of the Cambridge University History faculty. He is presently a lecturer in history for the Pembroke College International Programmes and a member of the research team working on the official history of the British Security Service. His PhD took the form of a business history of the Gramophone Company Ltd from its formation to the end of World War I. In 1997 he published the centenary history of EMI and in 2003 he published Lord Haw Haw: the English Voice of Nazi Germany.

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Nick Morgan

Name That Composer: the NGS and the first 'modern' record catalogue

The National Gramophonic Society (active 1924-31) was a pioneering attempt to circumvent the commercial realities of record production by harnessing the book trade's subscription model, a model which ended up being adopted by the industry's leaders, Columbia and The Gramophone Company (HMV), after their merger in 1931 to form EMI. This paper examines one other way in which the NGS's high-minded approach to the production and consumption of music influenced the wider marketplace: its novel concept of the composer-based catalogue.

In 1925 the NGS published A List of Recorded Chamber Music, the first of many catalogues issued by its parent magazine, the Gramophone; but it may also be the first record catalogue issued anywhere organised strictly by composer. The commercial catalogues of the day were organised by genre, performer and title, with composer(s) sometimes not even named; amongst their seemingly bewildering morass of music, the repertoire which the NGS believed its members craved, mainly chamber music, recorded complete and uncut, was an elusive, almost invisible presence.

By abstracting, categorising, organising and presenting this material in a new way, the Society was effectively creating a new, if small, continent in the world of recorded music. The List of Recorded Chamber Music is fascinating reading, as much for what it leaves out as for what it includes, and prompts the thought that we ourselves, brought up on the composer-based catalogue, may sometimes misread the record market of the 1920s.

Nick Morgan read Classics and Modern Languages at New College, Oxford, perfecting his spoken and medieval Russian as an exchange student in the USSR in 1981-82. After graduating he joined the BBC's Production Trainee Scheme and, from 1984 to 1998, produced speech programmes about science and music for Radios Four and Three. In 1998 he became a freelance radio producer and presenter (of Radio Three's Building a Library, among other things) and started writing record reviews and features for International Record Review and BBC Music.

In October 2006 Nick was appointed to a CHARM doctoral studentship under the University of Sheffield/British Library Concordat scheme. His research forms part of Sheffield's study of the UK record industry between 1925 and 1932.

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Ian Pace

Recordings, ideology and critical approaches to interpretation

A common narrative presented by performers is that by which they listen to a range of recorded performances, absorb the best elements from them, and develop outwards from here in a linear fashion in constructing their own interpretation. Drawing upon my own experiences as a pianist, I offer here an alternative model. This entails absorption of recordings and performance styles as a means of identifying their commonalities and limits, and examining these with a degree of detachment so as to conceive of the range of interpretive possibilities lying outside of this existing field. I argue that in many cases, especially with relatively standard repertoire, the existence of a wide range of recordings, far from necessarily encompassing an extremely broad range of musical possibilities, actually can serve to solidify and consolidate certain very particular practices, sometimes to the point of inertia; through the very familiarity of the reiteration of performance practices on recordings engenders, they become ‘naturalised’ from the perspective of listeners, and thus enter the realms of ideology. With musical examples both from recordings and given by myself at the piano, from works of Schumann, Liszt and Brahms, I argue not so much for a didactic negation of empirically observable practices so much as an appreciation of the very scope for manoeuvre that continues to exist for performers. I will also briefly touch upon the notion that certain approaches and attitudes to performance are intertwined with particular social expectations of music.

Ian Pace is an internationally-renowned pianist, specialising in contemporary music, and a musicologist whose principal fields are 19th- and 20th-century music, especially from German-speaking countries, performance practice, critical musicology and issues of music and society. He has played in 20 countries; given well over 100 world premieres by composers including Richard Barrett, James Dillon, Pascal Dusapin, Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Finnissy, Horatiu Radulescu, Frederic Rzewski and Walter Zimmerman; worked with many of the leading composers of today; given cycles of the piano works of Messiaen, Stockhausen, Rihm and Fox; and recorded a wide range of CDs. From 2003-06 he was AHRC Creative and Performing Arts Fellow at the University of Southampton; in 2007 he took up a position as Lecturer in Contemporary Musicologies at Dartington College of Arts.

He was co-author and co-editor of Uncommon Ground: The Music of Michael Finnissy, which was published by Ashgate in 1998, and has published many articles in a range of journals. His Brahms Performance Practice: Documentary, Interpretive and Analytic Approaches will be published by Ashgate in 2009; he has also recently finished a large-scale monograph on Finnissy’s The History of Photography in Sound. He is currently research the social and political context of the development of a musical avant-garde in West Germany amongst composers who grew up during the Third Reich.

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David Patmore

The British record industry, 1925-29

Between 1925 and 1929 the British record industry enjoyed a level of commercial success which was not to be seen again until well after the Second World War. Spurred on by renewed interest in the gramophone through the introduction of electrical recording, organisational competition and rising economic prosperity, sales of recordings and gramophones grew rapidly on an annual basis, to be halted only by the consequences of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Using material drawn from the company papers of both the Gramophone Company and the Columbia Graphophone Company held at the EMI Archives at Heyes, and other contemporary documentation, this presentation will consider the nature and consequences of this growth in activity in both commercial and cultural terms. In particular it will focus upon the roles played by competition and monopoly in both these spheres, with comparisons being drawn with later phases in the development of the recording industry.

David Patmore’s research interests focus upon commercial and cultural interactions within the history of the recording industry. His work has been funded individually by the Economic and Social Research Council and by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM), based at the University of Sheffield. He has been reviewing and writing about recordings for over twenty-five years and has contributed to numerous consumer magazines and academic journals. He is the author of The A-Z of Conductors, published in 2007 by Naxos Records.

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Olivier Senn and Lorenz Kilchenmann

Three Bills: Musical interaction in Bill Evans’s triple track solo piano recordings Conversations with myself (1963) and New Conversations (1978)

Jazz is usually recorded in a club or in the secluded atmosphere of a studio. In both situations, musicians play a live gig – be it for an audience or for microphones only. The aesthetics of direct musical interaction between musicians are prevalent in jazz, and until the 1970s, they were fairly resistant against any experimentation made possible by recording technology. In this context, Bill Evans’s album Conversations with myself of 1963 sticks out as an extremely daring application of multitrack recording technology: in the recording process, Evans superimposed three piano performances and created dense, multilayered, sometimes cloudy musical textures. The notion of conversation is accentuated by sound engineering, placing each track at a specific location in stereophonic space. Evans himself reflected the aspect of interaction in his liner notes, musing whether Conversations presented solo or trio performances.

Despite its technical flaws – disputable sound quality, and a poorly tuned piano (which is said to be the same instrument Glenn Gould used for his recordings after 1960) – Conversations with myself was a very successful album: it won Evans his first Grammy Award and was voted jazz record of the year by Melody Maker magazine in 1964. The concept proved to be artistically productive for Evans in years to come: he recorded two more albums of the same kind – Further conversations with myself in 1967 (with even worse sound quality) and the beautifully relaxed New conversations in 1978.

Our paper analyses time delayed interaction of pianist Bill Evans with himself: which role do the single tracks adopt in the musical texture? How does Evans arrange his musical material? How does he coordinate his playing rhythmically? What are the differences between Evans’s approaches of 1963 and 1978? The analyses are based on transcriptions of selected passages; computer aided methods are used for microrhythmic analysis.

Lorenz Kilchenmann studied musicology, ethnomusicology and computer science. As scientific assistant at the Ethnomusicological Archive, University of Zurich, he developed a special interest for computer-based sound analysis. Since 2007 he has worked as a research associate at the Institute for Music Research at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. His current research activities include studies about groove, timing and the perception of rhythmic events. As software engineer he designs and implements the analysis software LARA (Lucerne Audio Recording Analyzer).

Olivier Senn studied musicology, philosophy, and German language at Zurich University. His doctoral thesis (2005) discussed methods for the analysis of recorded music, and applied them to a recording of jazz singer Sarah Vaughan. Since 2006 he has been Head of the Institute for Music Research at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. He is currently working on a monographic study about a historical jazz concert, featuring the Oscar Peterson Trio, Stan Getz Quartet, and Miles Davis Quintet live in Zurich, 8 April 1960.

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