Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Research Publications

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    The Living Instruments Project: Sharing sounds of heritage instruments in the Grainger Museum Collection
    Gaunt, H ; Lyons, A (Australasian Sound Recordings Association, 2022-01-01)
    The Living Instruments project aims to digitally preserve the sound of the fragile Grainger instrument collection, but it also presents a way of transforming the relationship between musical artefacts and their cultural value with a diverse group of people including contemporary makers. The Living Instruments project emerged in the nexus of teaching, learning, and research activity in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, and the stewardship of Percy Grainger’s historic instruments held in the Grainger Museum, at the University of Melbourne. It aims to provide greater research opportunities and creative engagement with the instruments through an interactive platform of sonic resources. This paper provides an overview of the stimulus for the Living Instruments project and shares the stages of the research journey and public outcomes.
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    La colección Alberto Ginastera en la Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes: un fondo documental desconocido
    Plesch, M (Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes, 2023)
    The Alberto Ginastera Collection at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires, Argentina) is one of the most significant institutional holdings related to the composer worldwide, second only to that of the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel (Switzerland). Its existence, however, has gone unnoticed by researchers, and it is not mentioned in the extensive literature on the renowned Argentine composer. This article offers a preliminary overview of the collection's contents. After a brief introduction to the composer and his work, the ANBA collection is contextualized within the framework of other repositories related to Ginastera, both in Argentina and abroad. Its contents are classified into a tentative taxonomy comprising five categories: writings, photographs, periodical documents, and memorabilia, which are briefly described. The article mentions the preventative conservation actions taken by the author and suggests potential future actions. It concludes with some reflections on the importance of documentary collections for a cultural history-engaged musicology.
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    Quadrifoglio
    Pertout, A (Nailuj Music, 2023-08-25)
    ‘Quadrifoglio’ is a 2023 album release of original compositions by Alex Pertout. The album is the culmination of an extensive original investigation of various Latin American, West African and Carnatic rhythmic and melodic concepts, combined with contemporary electronica via the use of synthesizers, samples and loops, in various collaborative improvisatory settings with four distinguished world percussion master drummers. The album features Pertout both in duo and solo formats, in the former engaging in improvisatory dialogues with four world percussion masters: legendary US conguero Raul Rekow, English multi-percussion expert Pete Lockett, Egyptian tabla master Hossam Ramzy and with Australian master drummer David Jones. Recorded, edited and mixed by Alex Pertout in Melbourne, Australia, with additional recordings by Hossam Ramzy and Pete Lockett in London,England. The album was expertly mastered by Leon Zervos at Studios 301 in Sydney. The recording of ‘Quadrifoglio’ makes an honorable contribution to innovation and new knowledge in the field of contemporary jazz by presenting creative original works and original arrangements informed by traditional and non-traditional sources. ‘Quadrifoglio’ aims to create a unique listening experience, highlighting the art of percussion and showcasing Pertout's virtuosity and creativity as a multi- instrumentalist, improvisor, composer and producer. The works feature landscapes of polyrhythmic performances making use of a vast array of percussion instruments including congas, berimbau, bongos, kanjira, djembe, cajon and udu, as well as melodic and harmonic segments performed on vibes, marimba, glockenspiel, nyunga nyunga mbira, quena, quenacho, electric piano and synthesizers, enhanced by selected loops, electronic textures, soundscapes and personal atmospheric field recordings in various cities across the globe.
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    A Day with Michael Shrieve
    Pertout, A (Musictek Australia, 2023-10-24)
    A Day with Michel Shrieve addresses the US drummer’s background and identity as a band member, band leader, composer and record producer. I delve into Shrieve’s outstanding career which commenced as the drummer of the legendary San Francisco based band Santana, instantly famed after their ground breaking performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. Throughout his career he has been praised for his innovative approach to drumming and his ability to blend diverse musical influences seamlessly, his contributions to the drumming world inspiring generations of musicians, myself included. With the recent marking of the 50th anniversary of the iconic Santana album Caravanserai, considered one of the outstanding works in Santana’s discography, Shrieve discusses with me various aspects of recording that remarkable album, his upcoming book on master drummer Elvin Jones, as well as his much-anticipated forthcoming release Drums of Compassion.
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    A Day with Bobby Sanabria
    Pertout, A (Musictek Australia, 2023-05-19)
    A Day with Bobby Sanabria addresses New York based, Puerto Rican Sanabrias’ background and identity as a band leader, arranger and record producer. I delve into Sanabria’s career in New York and discuss his work, and particularly this latest release by his Multiverse Big Band titled ‘Vox Humana’. Sanabria discusses his approach to the organization and development of this latest album, which apart from his extraordinary big band, also features three remarkable jazz contemporary vocalists; Janis Siegel from the Manhattan Transfer, blues and jazz vocalist Antoinette Montague and multi-lingual vocalist Jennifer Ledesna. The album recorded live in New York City received a Grammy nomination under the Latin-Jazz category.
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    A Day with Agustin Diaz
    Pertout, A (Musictek Australia, 2023-01-09)
    A Day with Agustin Diaz addresses master drummer Diaz’s Latin American identity, his style and career. I delve into Diaz’s connections with the highly acclaimed Cuban ensemble Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. Diaz discusses percussive development and techniques as applied to Cuban percussion styles, his long tenure as a member of the ensemble and his work in maintaining and further developing Cuban cultural and folkloric musical styles.
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    Hidden diversity in the conservatoire: A qualitative enquiry into the experiences of higher education music students with disability
    Thompson, G ; de Bruin, L ; Subiantoro, M ; Skinner, A (SAGE Publications, 2024)
    Students undertaking higher education music degrees represent a rich tapestry of experiences, cultures and needs. However, equity and inclusion issues related to music students with disability in higher education are frequently addressed in generic ways, and without consultation or consideration of their unique requirements. With limited research available, this qualitative study within an Australian Conservatorium of Music analysed the experiential and situated reflections of 18 music students with disability. Based on our reflexive thematic analysis, we propose that issues related to equity and inclusion for music students in higher education are multi-faceted and interrelated. By foregrounding the participants’ voice, the qualitative themes suggest that enhancements related to disclosure processes, quality of communication and reliability of resources, would fortify equity and inclusion. The findings span the need for reforms at the institutional level, as well as specific professional development for educators and awareness raising amongst the student cohort. Informed by the participants’ lived experience, the findings call for music educators, professional staff and institutional leaders to effectively apply features of inclusive, caring, professional practices so that music students with disability can thrive in higher education.
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    Becoming [published Score]: for soprano, countertenor, bass voices, shakuhachi and string quartet
    Selleck, J (Australian Music Centre, 2024)
    This published score of ‘Becoming’ was published by the Australian Music Centre in 2023. It complements the CD of the same work released by Move Records in 2022. 'Becoming' is a song cycle for 3 voices, shakuhachi, and string quartet (duration of one hour). The work is based on research into two forms of Japanese poetry, haiku and renga, and uses poetry in 3 languages (English, French, and Tibetan). The text is based around the four seasons and explores the human-nature connection. This publication of ‘Becoming’ is the culmination of approx. 20 years of research into different approaches to setting haiku to music. This process began with a study of the Japanese masters of haiku, which I undertook as an undergraduate student at the University of Melbourne studying with Professor Brenton Broadstock. The first movement of ‘Becoming’ formed part of my PhD composition folio (2006). After this, I continued to develop the work through practice-based research via multiple performances (outlined below). The early stages of my research involved experimentation with setting individual haiku for various instrumental combinations and voice. This also incorporated research into different compositional techniques and allowed me develop the knowledge and skills to embark on a full-scale song cycle (5-movement composition) exploring the programmatic and psychological elements of song using a diversity of compositional techniques in a cross-cultural context.
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    From Acoustic Scenery to Sonic Dramaturgy: Music in Radio-Specific Drama of Weimar Republic Germany
    Gabriel, J ; Verhulst, P ; Mildorf, J (Brill, 2023)
    Weimar Republic Germany (1919–1933) witnessed the development of experimental dramatic forms created specifically for the radio, celebrated for their technical and dramaturgical innovation, including the Hörfolge, which montaged pre-recorded sounds, narration, and dramatic scenes in a non-linear narrative, and the Tonfilm, in which sound was recorded on the film used for audiovisual sound film, but without images. I argue that these dramatic forms also emerged out of the practice and discourse of music in earlier, more conventional genres such as radio-specific opera (Funkoper) and the fully musical radio play (musikalisches Hörspiel). First, I examine the discourse surrounding early radio plays and the way music shaped ideas about creating drama specifically for the radio. Second, I analyze Walter Goehr’s Malpopita (1931), Walter Gronostay’s Mord () and Glocken (1930s) and Eugen Kurt Fischer’s Trommel, Trommel, Gong (1932) as examples of early radio play productions.
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    By myself but not alone: Agency, creativity, and extended musical historicity
    Schiavio, A ; Ryan, K ; Moran, N ; van der Schyff, D ; Gallagher, S (Routledge, 2022-11)
    In this paper we offer a preliminary framework that highlights the relational nature of solo music-making, and its associated capacity to influence the constellation of habits and experiences one develops through acts of musicking. To do so, we introduce the notion of extended musical historicity and suggest that when novice and expert performers engage in individual musical practices, they often rely on an extended sense of agency which permeates their musical experience and shapes their creative outcomes. To support this view, we report on an exploratory, qualitative study conducted with novice and expert musicians. This was designed to elicit a range of responses, beliefs, experiences and meanings concerning the main categories of agency and creativity. Our data provide rich descriptions of solitary musical practices by both novice and expert performers, and reveal ways in which these experiences involve social contingencies that appear to generate or transform creative musical activity. We argue that recognition of the interactive components of individual musicking may shed new light on the cognition of solo and joint music performance, and should inspire the development of novel conceptual and empirical tools for future research and theory.