Thursday, 25 April 2013

Schizoanalysis: musical creativity within written research

 Commercial Music Research Group
 Seminar Series: Dr Jo Collinson Scott
 UWS Space, CCA Glasgow
 Tuesday 7th May, 5.30pm

What place is there for musical creativity within written research output? Introducing 'schizoanalysis': an exploration of musical creativity at work in academic text.

For many researchers in the creative arts, recent work in the developing field of practice-led research has begun to close the gap they previously felt between their "creative work" as music practitioners (which resulted in performances, or songs or recordings) and their "academic work" as researchers (which involved taking objective and critical standpoints on creative practice and then communicating the results of this via the writing of formal text). It has come to be accepted (although still not fully theorised) that creative practice can be considered to be research itself, under certain parameters and contextualised in particular ways. 

At the same time, in other academic fields, such as literary criticism, where the 'subject' of research is primarily written text, a blurring of the boundaries between 'practice' and 'criticism' has become inevitable. There is no longer a clear cut distinction between the type of text that researchers 'study' and the type of text that they write. Researchers are increasingly recognising that they bring a certain amount of creativity to their academic writing. At its simplest level, when they are creating text for journals or for textbooks, they 'polish' their articles, they think about 'style' and 'structure' and other textual factors that have an aesthetic component. At its most complex level, some researchers employ novelistic or literary techniques within their academic writing. After a certain point, the question that results is - how is my criticism fundamentally different from the text that I am criticising? Could my academic writing be a creative output itself?

Now, the field of music has been isolated somewhat from this discussion by the fact that 'music' and 'text' are ostensibly different mediums, therefore the lines dividing them should be fairly obvious. However, I have identified an area of avant-garde music where this line is no longer obvious, where a similar blurring can occur. And in examining this area, I have come to question whether writing 'music' with academic 'text' might not be possible. And therefore, whether there is academic precedent for unleashing our creativity (as musical practitioners) into our academic writing. This seminar presentation will describe my recent work in this area: the development of a technique which I have called 'schizoanalysis'. This will be given as one example of how such 'musical criticism' might work, and will also outline some of the theoretical justifications behind its employment.


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