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forArlyn: Creation, COVID 19, Liminality…and the Aesthetics of Dissolution

Plenary Speaker
22 August 2022
16:30 - 17:00 hrs (GMT+7)

The years following the coronavirus outbreak in 2019 have posed challenges to artistic production. Concert artists had to adapt to remote modes of performance; performing either virtually or in relative isolation. The impact on music production was matched by that on consumption. Both performers and audiences were subjected to the protocols of lockdowns and limited access; of facemasks and social distancing; not to mention material disadvantages and destitution with those limitations. This talk will present critical reflections on how this global reality impacted creation and aesthetics, and will explore the avenues of agency that artists and audiences employed in the processes of music composition and reception. The discussion springboards from a personal experience in fulfilling a musical commission entitled forArlyn. This talk examines the discourse of composition and performance in the face of a global pandemic, and the framing of a “new reality,” drawing on the philosophies and insights of Hegel, Walter Benjamin and Elissa Marder.


Begun in Vienna in October 2019 and completed in Manila in June 2020, forArlyn is a trio with aesthetics built on liminality and constant dissolution. This aesthetic framework is a reflection of the conditions of production and reception during the period of its inception and eventual completion. After a period of rehearsals and realization via the online platform Zoom, the piece was premiered to a live audience by the German ensemble hand werk at the Alte Feurwache in Cologne on October 20, 2020.


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