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Musical Transformations: Networked Performance in Intercultural Music Creation

25 August 2020

16:00 - 17:00 hrs (GMT+7)

With the worldwide lockdown affecting individual musicians and concert halls, streaming technology has become a central vehicle through which musicians and audiences can meet. But this forced move to digital presence also suggests new possibilities, beyond the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

This paper discusses how networked performance may contribute to the sustaining of cultural heritage among migrant/minority communities as well as to the development of innovative intercultural artistic practices. Building on the experience of our group, The Six Tones, as well as of research carried out by Roger Mills (2019) and Ximena Alarcón Diaz, we wish to develop a more robust understanding of the possibilities, and the limitations, that networked technology affords. The central source of our own work is drawn from Musical Transformations, an ongoing project which studies the intersection between traditional and experimental music in globalized society. We address the role of social interaction in the practice for intercultural collaboration, developed by The Six Tones since 2006, and discuss how such interactions are excluded when collaborating through digital mediation. Qualitative analysis of video documentation from rehearsals and performances constitute the foundation for the study. 

In the paper, we also discuss the projected creation of a scene for intercultural exchange at Manzi Art Space in Hanoi, with reference to the first networked performance carried out live on a scene in Hanoi, curated by The Six Tones at Manzi on July 12, 2020. This project situates the discussion even more immediately in the current developments of music culture in the time of the pandemic. The format of the paper we imagine as a 15 min video essay, combining voiceover from the four authors with documentary footage and excerpts from networked performances with the group.

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