Henrik Frisk, saxophonist, photo by Karl-Martin Almqvist.


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Repetition Repeats all other Repetitions in at the Research Pavi

Repetition Repeats all other Repetitions is an open form composition for 10-stringed guitar and electronics. The piece emerged out of a collaboration between the composer Henrik Frisk and the guitarist Stefan Östersjö and developed into an artistic research project in which interaction, in the widest sense, was allowed to play a major part. This weekend it will be performed three times in the CRT Theatre in Guidecca, Venice, at 11, 15 and 17.
In the preparatory phase, and through the first incarnations of the piece, the idea of a radically open work type, the work-in-movement, crystallised. One of the conditions that allowed for the development of this openness was the disassembly of the hierarchies attached to the roles of composer and performer, and one of its consequences was that several articulations of intuition was allowed to play a great role in the work. Another key factor was the video documentation of the artistic process and the further analysis of this material, carried out as part of our respective PhD projects. What emerged from these procedures, specifically grounded in an artistic practice articulated as research, was an enforced understanding of the identity of the work as a work-in-movement, in which the access to the sum of the documented working process and the instantiations of the work in performance would constitute its fluid identity.

In 2007 we entered the complete documentation of the piece in a database with the intention of creating an online representation of the composition. However, that project has remained unfinished to date. The concept of a musical composition which draws its identity from multiple representations in an organised form for storage, making the various kinds of documentation easily accessible, is what drives our current work. The proposed presentation discusses how we envision a new phase in which the database will provide the source material for a multi-media representation of the composition, with the aim to further explore its nature as a work-in-movement. Further, we will in the presentation argue that the access provided by the database, and the representations generated by it, as well as the research process which underlies the artistic results, constitute the very grounds on which the identity of the work can be understood.

This project has been connected to the notion of access-oriented thought ever since its beginning in 2006. Aesthetically, in the ways in which it destabilizes the notion of the musical work (a discussion which has been central to classical western music since the mid 20th Century); scientifically, by its use of research oriented methods for documentation and database storage; and politically, by an act of counter-hegenomy by shifting the focus on results - typical of the musical art world - towards process and thereby, from the final product and its author to the user. The proposed presentation would have the format of a lab in which a series of performances of the composition would be distributed over a day. In between the performances, a demonstration of the database, and how different versions and stages can be accessed through this platform, will be discussed from an aesthetic, scientific and political perspective.