Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the postmortem continued

Today, I had the realization--both terrifying and exciting--that I am leaving for Portugal in two weeks. Two weeks. Truly, this is not much time. I've continued to ruminate on Friday's presentation and in doing so, several more avenues have come to light. The information, the research, I think, is good. However, the presentation needs work. I need to frame it as something like I am no longer a performer. I began to ask myself questions about the body, music, and subjugation and found that I could no longer continue. For the next twenty minutes I wish to share with you my research in hopes that it will provoke questions in  your own musical practice, scholarship, or pedagogical method. Furthermore--and I don't mind saying it again--this is not a twenty minute paper.

So, again for my own piece of mind, I'll offer an alternative introduction to get the taste of Friday's nonsensical bumbling out of my mouth. Eccolo:

In the next twenty minutes, I will not give an answer, nor will I offer a definitive conclusion or method about or for the performance of eighteenth-century music in the twenty first century. I wish to illuminate the sinster tradition in which both musical text and performance are implicated. I wish to pose a series of questions regarding musical, cultural, and scientific performance. I wish to discover and discuss the body as an "object and target of power" in both the eighteenth and twenty-first century.

Albinus, Bernhard Siegfried. Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani. (1749)

In a world wherein every word, object, and sign is loaded with (plural) discourse, perhaps the only way to free ourselves and to appropriate and indeed reclaim these signs is to fully understand their genesis and manifestation. We must empower and free ourselves through cognizance; through knowing.

A little better than Friday, I think. The goal in the next two weeks is to really push the anatomy theater/musical performance angle. The more I look at these images; the more I think about the practice of anatomy in the eighteenth century (and prior), I cannot help but connect the dissected, sexualized, controlled, ordered, sacrificed body of the cadaver to the sexualized, controlled, ordered, sacrificed body of the eighteenth century performer.

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