Gli Spazi Della Musica 2/2

Open access musicology journal Gli Spazi Della Musica has a number of body-related articles in the “Variazioni” section of the current issue:

Florian Henri Besthorn: The widening, destruction and fusion of sounding bodies. The significance of the body in “experimental chamber music” works by Joerg Widmann

Ethan Allred: Disembodied Identity: Patriotism, Gender, and Homosexuality in Francis Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias

Gianpaolo Chiriaco: La polvere e le ossa: voce, memoria, corpo e identita nella cultura musicale afroamericana

Carlo Genova: Giovani e musica dal vivo. Suoni, corpi e immagini nello spazio

I’ll be adding them to the Body | Music | Technology Zotero group later today. There are lots of other interesting references on there, too. Do consider joining!


Publication: Experiments and Intensities

The Winchester University Press online series Experiments and Intensities is now officially launching its first two volumes.

In Volume 1, Cries from the Guts, artists working in sound explore what might be the nature of the ‘visceral’ within the sonic realm today, in pieces that range from the disturbing to the funny to the architectural.

Featured works include: Ali Cocks’ Semiotic Stomach; Mikael Eriksson’s Eating Pipe; Laura Maes’ GlisGlis; Takahashi’s Shellfish Concern’s Guts; Marco Donnarumma’s Music for Flesh II; Melanie Chilianis’ MCVox; Lawrence Upton and Benedict Taylor’s VUST! and Sirpa Jokinen’s The Hagia Sofia.

Visit to check it out for free!

Platform: Journal of Theatre and Performing Arts 7.1 ‘On Corporeality’


Platform: Journal of Theatre and Performing Arts are happy to announce that 7.1, ‘On Corporeality’, is now available. You can access the free online edition here.

Please also join us for a launch event where you can pick up a free hard copy along with a glass of wine and a 10 minute paper on the journal’s themes from the wonderful Professor Peter Boenisch (University of Surrey). The event will be small and informal and will take place at 11 Bedford Square, Room G3, on Monday 4 March at 6.30pm. Booking is essential. You can book by emailing:


Absent Friends: Edward Bond’s Corporeal Ghosts by James Hudson (University of Lincoln)

Corporeality and Subversion in Post-Renaissance Italy: The Inquisition and the Commedia dell’Arte by Matt Cawson (Royal Holloway, University of London)

The Performance of Biopower and Liveliness: The Life and Death of Terri Schiavo by Renée Newman-Storen (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts)

Forum Theatre, Disability and Corporeality: A Project on Sexuality in Zimbabwe by Nehemia Chivandikwa and Ngonidzashe Muwonwa (University of Zimbabwe)

‘Try to follow the sound of my footsteps…’: Walking and the Theatricality of Imaginative Geographies in Janet Cardiff’s The Missing Voice (Case Study B), by Jane Frances Dunlop (Independent)


[Publication] Cries from the Guts

Volume 1 / Experiments and Intensities
Winchester, November 2012.
ISBN 978-1-906113-05-6

Edited / curated by Yvon Bonenfant, Will Edmondes & Micah Silver.

Cries from the Guts, the first volume of the Experiments and Intensities series, explores the ways – sometimes gentle and whimsical, sometimes gurgling and grotesque, sometimes elegant and fine, and sometimes chaotic and unrelenting – that a diverse selection of artists engage with the viscerality of sound – from literal, comical and metaphorical perspectives.

Contents: Curatorial-Editorial Statement and Introduction / Yvon Bonenfant // Semiotic Stomach / Ali Cocks // Eating Pipe / Mikael Eriksson // Glis Glis / Laura Maes // Guts / Takahashi’s Shellfish Concern // Music for Flesh II / Marco Donarumma // MCVox / Melanie Chilianis // VUST! / Lawrence Upton & Benedict Taylor // The Hagia Sofia / Sirpa Jokinen.

Hear it here.

[CFP] Frontiers | Music and the Embodied Mind

Music and the Embodied Mind: a jam session for theorists on musical improvisation, instrumental self-extension, and the biological and social basis of music and well-being

Hosted by: Adam M. Croom, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Deadline for Abstract Submissions: 28th February 2013
Deadline for Article Submissions:  31st August 2013

“As animals our lives are marked by rhythms, and the rhythmical activities of ventilation and heart beat are tangible evidence of the life force in each of us”, Taylor and colleagues write in their (1999) Physiological Reviews article on the cardiovascular and respiratory system. With this “life force” as a pulse reverberating deep through the body, it’s as if our heart beat and breath breaks the silence of non-life as rhythms of nature that move us like music. One might ask: Are we not something akin to an instrument of music, our lives, something of an improvisation? What is the nature of the undeniably intimate relationship between music, the body and mind?

Concerns like these have been common to both scholars and performers alike. For instance, Einstein once reported that “I see my life in terms of music” and that “Life without playing music is inconceivable for me”. In Phenomenology of Perception Merleau-Ponty discussed the “kinetic melody” of the body, while the great jazz musician and saxophone improviser Ornette Coleman explained his technique as one of “activating the idea that’s going through my nervous system”. Sally Ness (1992) further discussed “the dynamic mentality of one’s neuromusculature” during her analysis of dance in Body, Movement, and Culture, and the saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax argued that the “true” musician and their music “exist through each other, and are but one”. Advancements in the cognitive sciences have additionally enabled new evidence regarding the bodily basis of music perception, cognition, and action to come to light, inspiring fresh insights and more empirically informed theorizing.

Yet despite a wide and growing interest in the relationship between music, the body and mind, along with promising technological advances, relatively little empirical and theoretical work has been explicitly devoted to investigating the topic of music and the embodied mind, and what work does exist remains largely dispersed across different publication sources spanning different academic fields. Accordingly, the aim of this Research Topic will be to unite an interdisciplinary group of scientists, theorists, and performers to address several of the liveliest questions regarding music and the embodied mind.

Scientists working on music from all disciplines are encouraged to submit original empirical research, philosophers and theorists of music are encouraged to submit fresh hypothesis and theory articles, and musicians as well as dancers are encouraged to submit perspective and opinion pieces reflecting their first-person knowledge of these performing arts. The aim is for an integration of theory, empirical data, and first-person reports in order to better understand, and drive new research on, the topic of music and the embodied mind.

Articles of interest include, but are not limited to, those discussing musical improvisation, self-extension through musical instruments, the evolution and development of music, the biological and social basis of music and well-being, and conceptual frameworks for understanding the nature of music and the embodied mind more generally. Critical commentary will also be warmly received.

Abstract submissions should not exceed 1,000 words and will be carefully selected by the Frontiers editor.

Further information is available from Frontiers.

A small warning: Frontiers journals are open access (good!) of the kind you have to pay to publish in (not so good unless you have a chunky research grant or a very supportive institution!).

[Call for Papers] Gli Spazi Della Musica: Sounding Bodies

Another CFP on the subject of ‘Sounding Bodies’, though this time it’s not from me. Università degli Studi di Torino have put out a call for papers that address the relationships between listening and sounding bodies across the fields of musicology, gender studies, performance studies, and more.

«Gli spazi della musica» is divided into two main sections: the first, called Saggi, comprises Ricercari, a series of free papers on basic topics of musicological research, and Variazioni, a series of papers on a given theme to examine a specific topic. The second section, called Strumenti, has a practical and teaching function.

The editorial board actively encourages authors to submit contributions for the upcoming issues, for both parts in the first section, the Ricercari on free themes, and the Variazioni on a given theme.

The theme for the Variazioni in the two issues of 2013 is

Sounding bodies: spaces, identities, relationships.

  1. Representations, images and musical constructions of the bodies: how is the body told by the music? How is it hidden? By what means the music builds and transforms the bodies? how does it inscribe different identities in it?
  2. Musical bodies, listening bodies: what is the physical component of the musical performance? how will be the body included in a work and how the somatic, psychological and motional dimension influences musical structures? What action does the sound carry on the listener’s body and her/his perception? How is the playing, singing, listening body represented in arts, cinema, literature?
  3. Bodies, instruments, sounding bodies: what kind of relationships exists between bodies and instruments? How is built the body of instruments? What are the effects of the music and of the voice on bodies and identities?
  4. Bodies, music, spaces: what are the relationships between bodies, spaces, and languages in the performance? Does the sound shape the space and its perception by the body?

Deadlines for all types of contributions (Ricercari and Variazioni), according to the Author guidelines on the website (Linee guida per gli autori) and provided with an abstract of 600 characters:
31 January 2013 for the first issue,
30 June 2013 for the second one.

Papers must be submitted to the address

Supported languages are Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish.


View the full CFP on the journal website.

[Publication] Interview with Vijay Iyer: “it’s about the music, brain and the body as one big thing”

Denver Westword Blogs have just published an interview with composer, performer and scholar Vijay Iyer. Iyer writes about the cognitive science of music perception. I first came across his work when I read his essay ‘On Improvisation, Temporality, and Embodied Experience’ in Sound Unbound. This isn’t an interview for an academic publication, but despite that – or perhaps because of it – it makes a handy three-minute introduction both to Iyer’s work and to some of the wider ideas and questions behind embodied cognition of music. Check it out!

Bodily Hearing: Infrasound

There are some lovely, lovely sounds and sound-makers in the current issue of Art Practical (13.3 The Sound Issue). Matt Sussman’s short article introduced me to an aspect of Randy H. Yau’s work that I hadn’t come across before: his collaboration with Scott Arford under the name ‘Infrasound‘. The duo’s manifesto strikes a chord (*groan*) with the interests of this blog:

“Hear with your body.  This is not about music. This is not about performance or the performer . . . It is about provoking new modes of perceiving and experiencing one’s own body “

Yau and Arford create performances using sounds in the 20 – 60 Hz range, playing with acoustic phenomena to higlight sound as a physical force. Bodies abound in Sussman’s account: “The fact that I’m wearing earplugs is now irrelevant. Crossing to the other side of the room is more like swimming than walking. With every step I am more conscious of my body and the invisible particles brushing against and off of it, their paths tracing and re-tracing the surfaces of every other body and object within the room.” This is more than just a psychological submersion in sound; it’s a process of feeling as hearing, the listening body as more than an ear. As for swimming . . . I’ll be coming back to immersion later. Stay tuned.

[cfp] eContact!: Biotechnological Performance Practice

eContact! extends an open call for contributions to an issue focussing on the use of the body in electroacoustic performance practice, coordinated by Guest Editor Marco Donnarumma. Performers, composers and others are encouraged to contribute their perspectives on the role or position of the body in experimental practices of musical performance.

Submission deadline: 31 January 2012
Publication: 29 February 2012
Submission Guidelines can be found here.

Suggestions for contributions include, but are not limited to the following ideas:

  • Use of Mechanical Myography (MMG), Electromyography (EMG) and other similar biological signal measurements in performance
  • Scoring / notation of body-related performance
  • Sound Art dealing with the body and biological aspects of performance
  • Development of DIY, biological-based, Interactive Musical Systems (IMS)
  • The definition / augmentation of Self on stage by means of biotechnologies
  • Cognitive aspects of embodied interaction between the biological body and computer
  • Composer—Technology—Performer: definition of roles?
  • Live electronics vs. fixed media in biotechnological performance practice
  • Historical overviews and reflections
  • Critical perspectives on gesture-based “human-computer interaction”
  • The sound of flesh…

We also welcome other contributions that engage in a discourse on the relation between biophysics and music. Feel free to propose other ideas!

To state your interest in contributing or for further information, contact Guest Editor Marco Donnarumma.

New and/or unpublished materials are preferred but reprints of previously published materials are also possible (eContact! will credit and link to original publications). The author is responsible for securing all permissions and clearing any copyrights related to the submission.

The inclusion of audio and video support documentation, photos, technical diagrammes and sketches is strongly encouraged. Audio and video examples should be submitted in the highest quality possible.