Choose your own adventure music : on the emergence of voice in musical collaboration

Gorton, David and Östersjö, Stefan (2017) Choose your own adventure music : on the emergence of voice in musical collaboration. Contemporary Music Review. ISSN 0749-4467


The real world practices of collaborating composers and performers have been receiving increasing attention within academic discourse. Such collaborations are often presented from two complementary perspectives: pre-compositional joint invention and post-compositional negotiations in the realization of a score and its notation. This article attempts to bridge the gap between the two perspectives through a discussion on the emergence of ‘voice’ that pervades the artistic practice, and binds the pre- and post-compositional phases together. Two compositions by David Gorton, written in collaboration with guitar player Stefan Östersjö, will be examined: Forlorn Hope for eleven-string alto guitar and optional live electronics and Austerity Measures I for ten-string guitar. Both pieces are the result of an extended pre-composition experimental phase, and both pieces attempt to recreate something of those experiments in the contexts of their performance, establishing the conditions for the emergence of a ‘discursive voice’ of both composer and performer.

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