The Phd Students in the Arts and their research topics:

Pierre Bibault. Define, Explore and Improve the Guitar Performer's Gesture and Microgesture in Classical and Electric Guitar Written Pieces from 1977 to Tomorrow. 

The research is divided in three parts :

- A first part is proposing a definition of Gesture and microGesture

- A second part is a direct application of this process on the performer: with a selected repertoire of contemporary Guitar pieces, I am exploring new ways to improve the guitar technics. My purpose is to “reinvent the technics” by proving that it doesn’t exists for itself, but only through the Gesture and microGesture, with a direct connection to the composer’s thought.
This includes new ways of writing the music (Gesture notation), and of decoding it; which supposes commissions to composers and premieres of new music.
Another direct application is the relation to pedagogy: this exploration of myself as a performer, learning new relations and connections to the body allows me to formalize a new way of teaching the instrument, less connected to the note itself but more to the music and sound.

- The third part is implicating the use of computer technology: with 3D sensors, I am directly connected to my own Gesture, which auto-creates music: this is a reflection about the future and one solution for the musician of tomorrow to stay connected to the new world, the new society and the use of new technologies.

Igor C Silva. New forms of interaction between instruments and electronics. 

Keywords: Mixed music – Instruments&Electronics – Interaction – Programming

In the current arena of composing and performing mixed music specific problems have emerged inherent to the specificities of this kind of practice. Problematics such as the synchronization between performer and electronics, the complexity of digital interfaces and the need for an acoustic fusion between the two have been some of the main issues discussed among academic research in the field. In an attempt to answer this problematics, this project aims at developing new systems that will offer simple, practical and intuitive responses to the problems inherent to mixed music. To address these questions in a more informed way, a bibliographic survey will be held, as well as an extensive analysis of ten works of different composers. In order to find new answers to these questions I propose the composition of five original works, which can solve these issues or create better insights as to the process of solving them. These works will later be performed with the goal of testing the validity or enforceability of the created processes. At last, the created work aims at creating and systematizing new approaches in the compositional and performative practice, hoping to contribute to the artistic and academic development of the mixed music scenario

Filippe Caporali. Crossing Universes- Achieving improvisation with the bow by mingling classical and jazz music.

As a jazz musician, I consider the use of the bow in improvisation as an enriching technique for developing more and richer musical possibilities. Many double bass players in the course of history created their own approach, but the lack of formal material dedicated to improvisation towards jazz and other genres (with the bow) makes this practice underused and a factor of distinction among musicians.

This study aims to develop an artistic practice and to create a method for double bass that combines jazz and classical music, focusing on improvisation with the bow. It seems logical to assume that assembling both classical and jazz training would suffice to have the expected result; however the need of a different type of phrasing, vocabulary, sound and the flexibility to instantaneously compose, reacting to the momentary inputs create particular problems that the tools acquired from jazz and classical training might not solve.

In order to provide these tools, this research intends to cross both traditions using its common points as starting ground, to collect useful material from existing methods as well as to propose new exercises to develop the necessary technique, flexibility, vocabulary, musicality, to analyze solos and styles of the most representative musicians, to implement improvisation in the daily practice, being a very effective way to improve any musical language when compared with studies based only on repetition. The output of this artistic research will be the development of a method for double bass players as well as an artistic output showing the relevance of this study on my own style of improvising and playing.

Nuno Cernadas. Alexander Scriabin's Ten Piano Sonatas: an Interpretative Journey through his Musical Cosmos.

Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) was a revolutionary composer who, through a significant evolution in his musical language, found a way to free himself from the restrictions of tonal music and make the transition to an uninhibited form of musical creation. Two interconnected elements that fueled this fast transformation were Scriabin's evolving mysticism and his perception of color as the visual counterpart to sound, brought about either by synesthesia or by conscious artistic intention.

My research proposes to study Scriabin’s color-sound symbiosis and its relation to his mystical philosophy, as realized in Prometheus op.60, and to apply these ideas to the creation of an original multisensory concept for the live performance of his ten piano sonatas.
The research will focus on the mystical philosophies that influenced Scriabin, their historical and cultural significance in early 20th century Europe and their role in the development of the composer’s style. A close investigation will be made on Prometheus op.60, his first effort to produce a multisensory artwork, fusing color and music in a transfigurative masterpiece. Musical interpretation and performance issues will also be of central importance to the research.

Through the synesthetic exploration of Scriabin’s ten piano sonatas, this project aims to create an immersive live musical and optical experience, one that not only follows but furthers the composer’s visionary intentions.

Lambert Colson. New lights on Cornetto performance practice in the 16th and 17th century.

The Cornetto is now widely known in the early music world and is regularly performed in the major festivals and concert halls. The challenge would then not be anymore about trying to conquer a forgotten instrument? Nevertheless the historical playing practices and traditions are rarely influential on the practice of the cornetto today.

The purpose of this PhD is to work with a focus on three geographical places : Kassel, Verona and Graz. This study will link specific repertoire with players and surviving instruments in order to consider strong local traditions in a narrow timeframe. Fac similes of some of the surviving instruments will be made and studied.

The first part will be dedicated to the court of Kassel in the times of Moritz van Hessen-Kassel (1592-1627) and will study the repertoire for the Mute Cornetti and the instruments kept in Leipzig known as the Kasseler Zinken. One of these instruments bears the marks of Georg Graumann, a praised cornetto player active in Kassel’s court.

The second part will be dedicated to Verona and the instruments and partbooks kept in the Accademia Filarmonica di Verona.

The third part will be dedicated to Graz and the manuscript Ms. A.R. 775-777 kept in the Bischöfliche Zentralbibliothek in Regensburg, and link that repertoire with surviving instruments in Vienna and Berlin.

Jan De Winne. In search of a lost sound.

Starting from the observation of the creative aspects in making copies of 18th century flutes, the research will make a parallel observation with the choices a musician makes when performing in the HIPP philosophy. This research will include two case studies based on the flutes, build by Quantz and Palanca. Starting from the artisanal details of the instrument maker, we will then develop the more complex question of authenticity in producing instruments and recreating early compositions.

Chryssi Dimitriou. Under the spotlight of observation.

A performance is maybe the only art-form that emerges directly from the dimension of passing time. Probably this is the source of a performance’s potential: it is made out of burnt moments and whatever remains belongs solely to memory. Like a sculptor who chisels a sculpture with clay, the performer chisels an interpretation with passing time-moments.
What happens when we observe a performance?

Experimentation in quantum mechanics proved that observer and observed are linked into a quantum dependency, where the observer is visually perturbing, influencing and defining the state of the observed system. By taking a look at the etymology of the Greek passive verb meaning ‘to be projected’, (‘προ-βάλλομαι’ in Greek), one finds out that it is a synthesis of the prefix προ- and the verb ‘βάλλομαι’, literally meaning to be hit, affected, perturbed, influenced, attacked. This verb, confirming the quantum mechanics observer’s paradox, implies that being observed means receiving the energy by an observer, almost in the shape of an attack.

Already the concept of theatre reveals this visual-observing dependency between performer and spectator. Jacques Lacarrière in his book “The Greek Summer” noticed that the word theatre comes from the verb “theomai”, meaning to see and to be seen and that it cannot be by chance that the ancient theater architecture, “expressed even by the soil and the stones”, resembles the image of an Eye.

The spectator’s gaze can be considered to integrate a basic mechanism with which we are equipped in order to navigate in life, shape our understanding of the world in a meaningful way, exert the notion of identity.

Therefore, what happens when we observe, or when we are observed and how the pure observation of a performing body may become self-reflection on a stranger’s art? And, what lies behind our capacity to create icons out of images?

Yiannis Efstathopoulos. The Spanish guitar music represented by the "Generation of 1927".

The Spanish guitar repertoire of 20th century is mainly attributed to the prominent Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia. Segovia’s long career and his stylistic and technical approach deeply characterized the instrument, turning the guitar into a full concert instrument. However, at the same time, another great Spanish guitarist Regino Sainz de la Maza (1896-1981) appears to have become popular within the “Generation of 1927”, a very radical artistic circle/movement central to the development of modern Spanish art. This group included artists of the calibre of Salvador Dali, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Luis Bunuel. Music was represented by what has been named the “Group of Eight” in Madrid and by the “Independent Composers of Catalonia”.

While trying to break the bonds with tradition, this artistic movement reflected the experience of socio-political events of its time, such as the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) followed by the Francisco Franco regime till 1975. Due to the fact that this group was associated with a politically left republican side, all this artistic production was hidden and buried  for years. However the repertoire they produced started to become popular in the last few years, with the discovery of new pieces during the past decade. Many others still lack any publishing or recording.
My research will focus on a systematic exploration of guitar compositions produced by Spanish composers belonging for aesthetical choices and style to the “Generation of 27”. One of the main, long-term goals of my research will then be the dissemination of its results through the publication and recording of these works.

Stéphane Galland. Cultural roots and interactions of contemporary rhythm in jazz.

After more than thirty years of experience with and research on rhythm, I would like to deepen and substantiate the knowledge I have gained in the course of my musical itinerary. This includes exploring different functions of cultural, social, geographical and philosophical context of rhythm; developing a better consciousness of rhythm; and offering a universal access to different branches of rhythm. My practice as a musician has enabled me to work alongside the greatest masters of rhythm of different traditions: Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman from India, Doudou N’Diaye Rose from Africa, Misirli Ahmet from Turkey, the trio Chemirani from Iran, and numerous percussionists and other instrumentalists and singers from Bulgaria, Egypt, Spain, Syria, Iraq, Greece, the USA, Mauritius, Algeria, Tunisia, Israel, Palestine, and so on. I have a double formation as a classical percussionist and jazz drummer, having played in different sorts of musical contexts, such as jazz, rock, pop, classical music, contemporary music, baroque, funk, and of course also the corresponding world music. Thanks to this, I have developed my own tools for decoding each thought behind each specific rhythmic approach. My long musical and intercultural journey (that still continues today), has helped me understand which elements, which keys, can be passed from one rhythmical world to another, from one thought to another, from one feeling to another, and to discover the common roots of these rhythmical branches.

I wish to deepen my research on these different rhythmical aspects, to record them, and to play them “live” in order to embody these works and approaches and pass them on to students and other musicians.

Maria Gonzalez. Theoretical and artistic research about basso continuo praxis in Venice from 1590 until 1630 based on the fundaments of counterpoint. 

Concurrent with the birth of Basso continuo, a few genres of music grew up together. Each genre requires a different approach about how to play basso continuo: from instrumental music, like sonatas or canzonas, to sacred vocal music, monody and accompanied diminutions. Despite the fact that these different genres all follow counterpoint rules, they nevertheless differ in compositional concept.

Historical sources have left us a great deal of information, but it is not often that we find it presented in a highly pedagogical way, as we are used to nowadays since their content is hardly ever explicit.

However, there is much tacit knowledge inside them, as well as in the repertory itself. If we consider how skilled and well trained performers of that era were, it is hard today for keyboard players to be presented with repertory that requires a deep knowledge of counterpoint, such as instrumental canzonas, motets and sonatas. A typical example today would be the performance of Fontana sonatas (1640s) , which are full of different kinds of bass lines and variations, including basso continuo solos that requiere contrapuntal realisations that could resemble the examples described by Spiridionis (1670). That makes dificult to set up clear borders between basso continuo and composition.

According to Dalla Casa diminutions (1580s) should be performed by singers, wind instruments and keyboard players alike. He is the only composer who mentions keyboard players in a diminution treatise. However, a lot of questions remain still unanswered: which type of compositions was he referring to? What is meant by “keyboard diminutions”? How could keyboard diminutions be combined with a solo part? Could diminutions be as well used in compositions with basso continuo?

This PhD aims to shed light on the different ways to approach basso continuo performance in Venice between ca. 1590–1630 while attempting to define them and establishing a performance practice according to historical sources and praxis itself. To put these theoretical insights in a broader perspective, musical experimentation will be an important part of this research.

The insights gained from these musical experiments will be used in historically informed performances during concerts, recitals and recording sessions as part of the valorisation and dissemination of this research project.

Luca Isolani. The hybrid guitarist. An embodied approach to the interpretation of the folkloric elements in classical guitar repertoire. 

The modern guitarist is a hybrid guitarist: a performer who needs to adopt a diverse set of technical and musical features belonging not only to the classical toolbox but also to the specific cultural background of the works he plays. 
This is immediately apparent when the guitarist is performing music strongly inspired by folk idioms. The heterogeneous character of popular music elements not only calls the interpreter to tap into melodic and rhythm understanding that step out of the classical tradition, but also, and foremost, drives to the exploration of the richness of the instrument in order to develop a varied and versatile way of playing. 
Could the “embodied knowledge” notion (with its sociological, cultural, and physiologic meanings) be the tool to reconfigure in this sense guitar practice? What are the strengths of this approach, what the limits?
How can the interpreter detect, study practice, and embody the folkloric elements? 
Is it possible to envision an explorative methodology to integrate these elements in the performance?

Starting from the southern Italy tarantella form and its interpretation on the chitarra battente, this research will study the  folkloric features present in classical guitar repertoire and define some tools for an explorative methodology of embodiment.

The artistic goal of this research is to prove that when closely observed, mindfully practiced, critically reflected upon and sensitively embodied  folkloric elements do contribute greatly  to the refinement of the performance.

Christian Klinkenberg. Generation and manipulation of microtonal pitch material in symbiosis with other composition techniques and styles. 

Since the 1900s, more and more composers started to liberate themselves from the imposed limitations of the twelve-tone equal temperament, reinforced and established by piano as the dominant musical instrument since the seventeenth century. Their liberation, however, have often led to the trap of the ideological use of one specific tone-system throughout their whole life. In my PhD project, I argue for a free microtonal approach by using various sorts of microtonal concepts and techniques.

Philippe Lamouris. Composing and performing with emotion, the investigation and recontextualization of late romantic emotion inducing parameters and techniques into contemporary artistic practice. 

The word "emotion" in the field of art and especially in music presents us with a paradox. On the one hand, the word is widely avoided, on the other hand omnipresent. It is clear that emotion is consistently present in musical performance.  There are two essential participants in the field of classical music: the musician and the listener. My aim is to bring these two groups closer together by trying to understand the listener's emotional reaction to music and by giving the artists the tools to trigger, control and manipulate these emotional reactions. I believe that parameters of the composer such as harmony, melody and rhythm, in combination with the parameters of the performer such as dynamics, tempo and phrasing are influencing the listener's emotional level. Using emotion measuring theories, such as the ATT (Aesthetic Trinity theory), together with the theory of expectations I intend to discover which exact parameter combinations and techniques are responsible for the fluctuation of emotional intensity. I intend to focus on passages in music where the listener experiences a climax of emotional intensity and features physiological reactions such as thrills and gasps. Once I fully understand which parameter combinations are responsible for these reactions I will collaborate with musicians in order to add my findings to their own artistic practices. The history of art proves that recontextualization of "old musical material" into a contemporary setting can enhance artistic creativity. My personal artistic output will be: compositions for piano, chamber music pieces and a piano concerto composed and performed by myself based on the extracted parameter combinations.

Raffaele Longo. New compositional paths between Elliott Carter’s harmony and deconstructionism

The research project aims to underpin an innovative approach by linking composition to music theory from a path-breaking methodological angle. The originality of this research approach grounds, indeed, on the definition of a new paradigm in music composition: the researcher will investigate if and how Elliott Carter’s harmony – as it was systematized in his harmony handbook  - can be the drive to explore novel composition paths throughout the values of a ‘new humanistic’ prospect while leading it towards a deconstructionist approach. In this regards Carter’s harmonic praxis plays the original role of a postmodern, grammatological ‘Renaissance atelier’, while it tries to set out creative interconnections which lead both music composition and its theoretical approach at the frontiers of poststructuralism.

Jean-François Madeuf. Historically Informed Performance Practice.

The importance of structural coherence in the performance of Schumann’s Music in the context of Piano works composed from the end of 1836 until the beginning of 1838.

Fantasie op.17 (1836-1838)
Fantasiestucke op.12 (1837)
Davidsbundlertanze op.6 (1837-1838)
Novelletten op.21 (1838)
Kinderszenen op.15 (1838)
Kreisleriana op.16 (1838)

My research will focus on Schumann’s 6 piano works composed between 1836 and 1838 because I believe this period represents one of the turning points in his personal and artistic life. Here we can find many of his most important Piano works and some of the most enlightening examples of his particular compositional process and his formal and structural innovations.

These innovations and the originality of Schumann’s poetic are, in my opinion, often misunderstood in the contemporary interpretation of his works; mainly the equilibrium between freedom and strictness in time and structure.

This research intends to approach these works from the point of view of a performance artist: therefore considering both theoretical aspects (formal analysis of the pieces and studying how these are inspired by style and psychology of writers such as E.T.A. Hoffmann and Jean Paul), and the artistic journey of understanding and rendition of the real and deep thoughts of the composer, ultimately culminating in the performance and recording of these works.

My ultimate purpose would be to combine the extreme variety of Schumann’s moods and visions with a deeply logical and coherent flow, in order to go as close as I can to the true and authentic source of his inspiration.

Marco Mantovani. The Interpretation of Robert Schumann: between Inspiration and Rationality.

The importance of structural coherence in the performance of Schumann’s Music in the context of Piano works composed from the end of 1836 until the beginning of 1838.

Fantasie op.17 (1836-1838)
Fantasiestucke op.12 (1837)
Davidsbundlertanze op.6 (1837-1838)
Novelletten op.21 (1838)
Kinderszenen op.15 (1838)
Kreisleriana op.16 (1838)

My research will focus on Schumann’s 6 piano works composed between 1836 and 1838 because I believe this period represents one of the turning points in his personal and artistic life. Here we can find many of his most important Piano works and some of the most enlightening examples of his particular compositional process and his formal and structural innovations.

These innovations and the originality of Schumann’s poetic are, in my opinion, often misunderstood in the contemporary interpretation of his works; mainly the equilibrium between freedom and strictness in time and structure.

This research intends to approach these works from the point of view of a performance artist: therefore considering both theoretical aspects (formal analysis of the pieces and studying how these are inspired by style and psychology of writers such as E.T.A. Hoffmann and Jean Paul), and the artistic journey of understanding and rendition of the real and deep thoughts of the composer, ultimately culminating in the performance and recording of these works.

My ultimate purpose would be to combine the extreme variety of Schumann’s moods and visions with a deeply logical and coherent flow, in order to go as close as I can to the true and authentic source of his inspiration.

Bobby Mitchell. Playing Schumann again for the first time.

How can one learn to improvise convincingly within the context of the nineteenth-century piano repertoire? And why is it important to improvise on this repertoire in the twenty-first century? Taking the music of Robert Schumann as a departure point, Playing Schumann Again for the First Time proposes an answer to these questions through methods towards a pianistic practice that is driven by experimentation and strives to continually find more layers where improvisation can take place, both in sounding musical practice and in notation. These practice methods are contextualized by a discussion of the presence of improvisation in Western classical musical practice in the nineteenth century. They are then substantiated by a plea to use improvisation as a tool for rethinking the current performance practice of nineteenth-century music. Improvisation itself and the concepts driving this term will also be addressed, and the knowledge gained in this project will be described as both improvisation as practice and improvisation as art.

Luis Mora. Metal-Jazz: The use of contemporary progressive rock/metal practices to expand the contemporary jazz soloing idiolect.

With the assimilation of foot techniques developed by progressive metal drummers, the aim of this research is to expand the possibilities of drummers in the complex rhythmic context of contemporary jazz. Therefore Luis Mora Matus will work on 3 communicating fronts: the development of new vocabulary for footwork based on the jazz tradition, the integration of recent developments from the progressive metal practice; and the expansion of the jazz drumkit with extra pedals.

For long abstract, check Brussels Arts Platform

Bart Naessens. Claviorganum, a curiosity? A quest into the history and the influence of the claviorganum on musical praxis

Already in the early years (16th-17th century) of the development of keyboard-instruments, sources can be found of the claviorganum (a combination of a harpsichord and an organ, played from the same keyboard).  It is amazing however to note that nowadays the instrument is hardly known, used or being heard. 

It offers an interesting alternative for the (sometimes) established obligatory choices between either harpsichord or organ as continuo- and/or soloinstrument and a solution to the ‘acoustic problems’ of the harpsichord and organ.  Both instruments can be used at the same time, but in that case two players are necessary (impossible to play exactly the same realisation of solorepertory and continuorealisation).  This research examines to what extent the claviorganum was/is a (a-)typical instrument.

The whole research focuses on the impact on the music and historical performance practice of specific keyboard and continuo-repertory.  A first part is an overview of what can be found in historical sources (which repertoire on which keyboard instrument?).

A second extend part is a demonstration of what the role of the claviorganum could be in the historical musical praxis (both solo and continuo-repertory) and to what extent we can or should (not) adjust our musical esthetics. 

Literature overview (in music, in music history and in musicology) together with experimental and empirical artistic research will lead to knowledge on the value and use of this since long hidden instrument, both concerning the past as the future use of the claviorganum and will have a pioneering impact on the musical performance practice in the coming years.

Luca Piovesan. The co-composition pendulum: Reevaluating the composer-performer relationship.

The accordion is a relatively new instrument in contemporary music. In the course of my own musical practice, I have noticed that composers can rely on very little literature to illuminate the workings and sonic possibilities of the accordion, and have very little repertoire to glean ideas from. My own collaborations with composers have, therefore, been marked by a strongly interlaced composer- performer relationship, in which I (as a performer) took on a very active role in the generation of musical material.

As a result, my artistic activity has made me acutely aware of many instances of confusion in the common conception of how musical works are composed. Within the classical musical tradition, the final work is mainly attached to the name of the composer (in the signature on the score, in the concert program notes, on album tracklists). However, in my experience the final work is usually the result of a co-creation, especially when it comes to the raw sonic material from which the composition germinates.

In this research project I want to pry open these proverbial cracks in the common conception by adding an extra layer of obfuscation to the accordion’s workings: a board of effects processors. With this personalized instrument I will strike up new collaborations with composers. In doing so, I will analyze the resulting co-creative processes with the theoretical tools offered by semiotic and historic analysis. The output of this research will comprise a sound library for composers; performances and recordings of new works; and a written thesis.

Piergiorgio Pirro. Spectral techniques in jazz performance.

Spectralism is a collection of techniques and attitudes towards musical composition that emerged in Europe in the 1970s, thanks to the work of a group of French composers, the most well-known being Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail. Spectral music shifts the attention from parameters such as harmony and melodic development towards the manipulation and exploration of timbre.

Very little work has been done so far to bring those techniques to the domain of jazz performance, even though the spectral mindset is not alien to the way jazz musicians think of their music.

The goal of the proposed research is to investigate the application of spectral techniques and attitudes in jazz music practice—both composition and performance—from the perspective of a keyboard player in today’s world of digital music.

I am interested in developing new sounds and harmonies that go beyond the possibilities of the equal tempered acoustic piano, and in discovering how changing the harmonic approach in the direction of a spectral attitude can inform the music produced by a jazz ensemble.

Christophe Robert. Pierre Gaviniès (1728- 1800) or the revolution of the violin

Pierre Gaviniès (1728-1800) is one of the most important figures in the history of the violin : as a player, as a director of “Le Concert Spirituel”, as a teacher, and as a composer. Admired by all during his lifetime, he is now almost un-known, despite of the use of his violin studies known as “24 matinées”.
But Pierre Gaviniès is not only “one more” re-discovery that one has to make today. He is a crucial key in the evolution of violin making/playing/composing in the 18th century. From his first appearance as a prodigy child in “Le Concert Spirituel” playing a Leclair duo in 1741, to the above mentioned “Matinées” of the 90ies, violin making and playing completely changed. The French Revolution, establishing the Conservatoire de Paris, created an artistic “new deal”. During those decades, the “modern violin” as we call it now, was born in Paris. Rebuilding Italian instruments, inventing new bows (Tourte) and new techniques, the city of Paris started to get a leading position in Europe on violin innovations.
Gaviniès was a witness, and a major actor of those changes. How, why, and when exactly this happened, is not only a question of History : it’s a start to understand better “baroque/modern” techniques and instruments for today’s performance practice.

Kostas Tosidis. Bow techniques for guitar playing: arrangements of contemporary works for cello, violin and viola played on the classical guitar. 

My thesis will explore the possibilities of playing arrangements of contemporary pieces for cello, violin and viola on the guitar without losing the music’s intention or style. Translating scores originally composed for these orchestral instruments presents a challenge for any guitar arrangement, particularly when trying to find technical solutions for the use of the bow.

My initial research has focused on the cello sonata by Gyorgy Ligeti (arrangement published with Schott Music Edition). In my doctorate, I want to extend this study by working on other works which present a number of challenges to guitar arrangement, either because of length, or the long note phrasing that the guitar has difficulty imitating, or other sound effects that the composer achieves through the use of the bow.

The composers (and works) are: Iannis Xenakis (Kottos), George Crumb (cello Sonata), Paul Hindemith (viola Sonatas), Benjamin Britten (cello Suites), Zoltan Kodaly (cello Sonata) and Luigi Dallapiccola (Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio), Witold Lutoslawski (Sacher Variations).
Focusing on the musical language of these composers, I will explore their composition techniques, their rhythmical and harmonic language as well as other solo instrumental works and also ensemble music.

The repertory of the guitar is poor in comparison to other string instruments and, relatedly, enjoys few prominent composers who compose for it. This research will not only extend guitar repertory into new and exciting territories, but will also test the technical possibilities of the instrument.

As part of this thorough study on the guitar technique in relation with contemporary compositional techniques , I plan to include a detailed essay combined with a DVD with technical examples and practical exercises.

My doctorate research will conclude with commissioned works by composers such as Atanas Ourkouzounov, Marios Joannou Elias, Feliu Gassul, Marko Dottlinger and Giannis Papakrassas.

Peter Van Bergen. Improvisation, interactivity and instability: artistic transformations  

In the 90s (of the last century) I improvised with interactive software designed by colleagues.

In the same period I heard the composition Voyager by George Lewis.

It struck me that, as I was used to in improvisations with human improvisers, I was not able to create intense, exciting and surprising music in interaction with a computer.

Also the concept of improvisation as a musical dialogue with a computer was difficult to recognise and follow.

Generating music in collaboration with a computer seemed to me a predictable and hardly surprising process. After all, computers only do what they are told to do.

My doctoral research “Improvisation, interactivity and instability: artistic transformations” is based on the research question as to whether I will be able to translate the experiences with human improvisers into an environment in which people and computers work together.

The research should lead to new compositional-improvisational work in which people and computers interact and unpredictable improvisations with their own aesthetic signature, a new personal instrumental and improvisational technique and syntax, texts describing artistic research, theory on improvisation in relation to improvisation in relation to composition, computers, interactivity and instability.

To make this possible, I‘m developing in collaboration with various software programmers interactive and autonomous improvising, composing musical environments and software tools with which the “true, unstable nature” of improvisation and composition can be investigated and made sounding in a performance situation.

The architecture, model, system and operation of the hardware and software of the artificial improvisers are based on my experiences as an improviser, composer and performer within a practice of contemporary composed and improvised music (including jazz), knowledge of fellow improvisers , scientific publications and testing the environments with human improvisers in rehearsals and performances

The environments are called "Interactive Orchestral Machine - Artificial Improvisation (IOM-AIM)" and "Hyperlecture" (an interactive lecture that starts and stops automatically, with artificial music and texts). The software is called "IOM-AIM tool".

The artistic outcomes of the research belong to Interactive Computer Music Improvisation Systems (ICMIS), a category that I came up with myself (as there are so many categories and abbreviations in computer music)

At the start of the research I imagined the "realisation" of an "automatic" almost
"Mechanical" environment for; human and artificial improvisers (AI's), acting as an ensemble capable of surprising and exciting musical improvisation in a performance situation and / or sharing knowledge or aesthetics.

"IOM-AIM" and "Hyperlecture" have become such environments: autonomous and interactive with other environments of any kind.

When designing the architecture and functioning of the "IOM-AIM tool", "IOM-AIM" and "Hyperlecture", inspiration is sought from insights from the cognitive sciences.

Music as sounding material is the result of a combination of "actants" in a network that is constantly moving and therefore unstable.

How a musical process develops and what the musical outcome will be, is never entirely predictable.

Circumstances or events can break the expectation of actants. The music (as a process and result) can be called surprising.

Actants are invited or challenged to recognise and understand the surprise and where necessary come up with solutions, a first step in incorporating an innovative addition to a musical language, syntax or form that was known or could be assumed to be known.

The next step is to further develop innovation as a vital part of the syntax that underlies the musical language in question.

This process of introducing, surprising, incorporating and developing is a process in which actants are asked to come up with a solution for destabilising a musical expectation, with the aim of stabilising the musical expectation pattern.

Composition and improvisation are inextricably linked: composition can be a stabilised form of improvisation and improvisation can be seen as a destabilised form of composition.

A musical improvisation, as a process and product, is more unpredictable than an existing musical composition.

With free improvisation, there are no signs or instructions on paper.

The extent to which listeners and improvisers experience musical improvisation as unpredictable or surprising depends on their skills, intentions, expectations and motivations, interaction between the actants and agreements and limitations determined by cultural background, style ,form and content of the material and the environment, conditions on the basis of which improvisation takes place.

Peter Van Heyghen. Performing Early-Seventeenth-Century Italian Recorder Music. 

This doctoral research project focuses on the period between ca.1600 and ca.1670, an era in European music history during which Italian composers and performers took the lead in the development of new composition techniques, musical genres, and performance practices. Since ad libitum procedures including a certain amount of freedom in instrumentation were relatively common, some of the repertoire in question – madrigals, motets, canzonas, sonatas, ritornellos and dances – was regularly performed by recorder players – both professionals and amateurs – in Italy and abroad.

However, the period in question does actually not constitute a high point in the history of the recorder as a whole. Whereas there is indeed sufficient evidence for the continued use of the recorder everywhere in Europe, it is also clear that the instrument played a less prominent role than during the 16th or early 18th centuries. There is less extant music specifically written for the recorder, a relatively small number of surviving instruments and only a handful of literary references. As for recorder design, furthermore, it was a period of transition and experimentation during which woodwind instrument makers followed diverse paths in transforming the more or less standardized 16th-century recorder designs into the standard three-part design in use everywhere in Europe towards the end of the 17th century.
Italian “Early-Baroque” music greatly appeals to modern recorder players, it has even become a standard component in their repertoire. But in the face of all the historical uncertainties alluded upon above, two major questions impose themselves:
1. Which pieces were found appropriate for performance on recorder?
2. Which sizes and types of instruments were used?

A thorough study of historical treatises on music theory and performance practice, a careful examination of extant instruments preserved in a number of European museums and much patient scrutiny of numerous collections of music should enable me to come up with some solid answers in the form of newly developed instrument types – recorders as well as bass violin, harpsichord and organ – and a putative repertoire list.

Andreas Van Zoelen. Properties and development of the classical saxophone tone within multiple traditions and in historical context. 

The initial phase of my research will deal with original instruments from Adolphe Sax’ workshop. I aim to determine the historically correct way of playing by studying sources written by Adolphe Sax’ contemporaries, the most prominent example probably being the “Méthode complète et raisonnée de saxophone” by Jean-Georges Kastner. I can then transfer this information to actually playing early Sax instruments from my collection.

Secondly, I wish to assess how the parabolic curve that Adolphe Sax found so important in all his inventions is found in his saxophones. Furthermore, comparison of very late instruments built by Adolphe Sax to his earlier saxophones, indicate that there has been a change in his way of thinking. To objectify these insights I will employ measuring techniques such as MRI.

Building on these insights, I will then research the various global saxophone traditions. Besides identifying these schools, and gaining knowledge on their developments, I would like to find out about connections between original Adolphe Sax instruments, and the saxophones used by the various traditions. Moreover, I will be looking for connections between them. Besides making this information available, my wish would be that this would start a dialogue between different worlds.

Finally, I aim to create a clear image of the Dutch saxophone school and its development, characterising it, and looking for connections with, for instance, the French tradition.

All this information will be presented in a book, accompanied by a CD with recently discovered recordings that form the basis of research on the several traditions. Also included will be recordings of relevant and typifying works on period instruments. In completeness, I hope to present the wide variety of colourful capabilities that Adolphe Sax has given us in his saxophone.

Luc Vertommen. Contextualisation, study and unlocking the music written for band by the synthetists.

Les Synthétistes were a group of Belgian composers who united in 1925  on the occasion of the sixtieth birthday of their beloved teacher, Paul Gilson. They had the intention of synthesizing various tendencies in music from 1925 with the aim of "Couler dans des formes bien définies, bien équilibrées, tous les apports de la musique actuelle, sythétiser" (Gaston Brenta).

The members of this collective were René Bernier (1905-1984), Francis de Bourguignon (1890-1961), Gaston Brenta (1902-1969), Théo De Joncker (1894-1964), Robert Otlet (1889-1948), Marcel Poot (1901-1988), Maurice Schoemaker (1890-1964) and Jules Strens (1893-1971). During this period in Belgian musical history the wind orchestra was a significant resource for composers, largely due to the lack of an established professional symphony orchestra outside the Belgian National Opera Orchestra. Encouraged by their mentor, Paul Gilson, and with the support of Arthur Prevost (conductor of the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides), Les Synthétistes produced a significant canon of original symphonic works for wind band. 
This research project will combine three stages, each with its own method in research. Firstly, theoretical and contextual research will lead to an in-depth study of the life and works for band by Marcel Poot, the main protagonist of Les Synthétistes. Through investigation into, to this point, unexplored sources  and existing scholarly research already undertaken by the candidate an accurate biography and definitive list of Poot’s works for band will be compiled.

Secondly, specific scientific research in gathering and identification of data from source materials will strive to produce a comprehensive list of original works written for band by all composers of Les Synthétistes. To this point more than sixty original works have already been identified on the basis on their intrinsic value and their historical international importance.

Thirdly, and the cumulative point of this doctoral thesis, will be practice-based artistic research through the editing and publication of selected works. After information from stages one and two has been collected and collated, the resulting contextual information and body of work will aid the creation of critical editions of previously unpublished Belgian music.
The recording and revival in concert of this hitherto unknown repertoire will enhance the knowledge and understanding of a neglected part of Belgian music history.

This study will bring new insights into the development and the historical significance of Belgian national music, with the focus on music for wind orchestra being of significant international relevance . Its target audience is a broad musical readership, serving to stimulate more scholarly and analytical work on this repertoire by fellow conductors, musicians and scholars.

Tomma Wessel. Portrait of the recorder.

This research focusses on the playing techniques and the different types of the recorder family. The core elements of the research are the acoustical features, their repercussions on the sound production as well as new sound possibilities. The synthesis of the results will lead to a clear conceptual framework which will be illustrated by comprehensive sound- and videoexemples. The outcome will be a website, accesible for players as well as for composers.

Barbara Wiernik. Contemporary Vocal Jazz: an artistic cartography of European encounters.

Understanding whether there is an artistic current, a "school" of vocal jazz, not based only on the American tradition is an issue that has not been fully fullfilled by jazz musicians. So I would like to find out how much our environment defines us artistically, if there are more European directions and what are the major ramifications of this lineage.

Being a musician, I will start from a methodology situated in the artistic practice: to reach a range of answers, not defined musicologically or theoretically, but founded in the artistic practice itself. I therefore plan to carry out an in-depth research mainly on the basis of filmed encounters as a way of reaching the actors on the ground in Europe (singers, instrumentalists, journalists), with whom I will analyze their perception of the current vocal jazz and the role of the jazz singer.

To document and analyze the situation, I will set up a website that will "classify" singers according to certain criteria: what style of jazz defines them, place of vocal improvisation, freedom of melodic interpretation, depending on what influences; a sort of living cartography of vocal jazz trends in Europe.

I also want to deepen various existing or emerging artistic projects that are deeply related to this research project and that can feed it: projects around the voice, improvisation and juggling with different aspects of jazz, exploring a maximum of vocal palettes that would be located in this European cartography by integrating the influences and im(migrations) of modern vocal jazz.

Adam Woolf. The Baroque Trombonist: Musical Cuckoo, or expert improviser?

For over 50 years the ‘old’ instruments of the renaissance and early baroque eras have been enjoying a return to popularity, recreating the musical soundscapes of yesteryear and aiding the revival of masterpieces such as Monteverdi’s operas and sacred music . However, these old instruments also bring something very new to today’s musical world. Instruments such as the sackbut seem at first to relate to modern classical instruments, yet in terms of musical approach, share very few of the aesthetics present in modern performance objectives. They stand alone as musical instruments in their own right. No longer preoccupied with trying to make them sound as much as possible like their modern counterparts, players are searching for new possibilities, mixing old and new timbres and techniques while simultaneously strengthening links with the origins of these instruments.

My study will aim to identify the qualities of this instrument and others which enabled them to become so popular in the 16th century and discover ways to carry them onto the 21st century concert platform. I will begin by exploring old and new compositions - aim to find ways of acknowledging historical qualities and galvanising them into new settings.   Through a series of modern compositions incorporating live performance, electro acoustic techniques and other ‘normalities’ from our modern musical world, I will present old musical vocabulary with new musical contexts.

Researchers associated with KCB:

Michel Bisceglia. Research original film music for the project Charlotte 

Research and development of methods and techniques for the creation of a soundtrack with an original identity, inextricably linked to the story and style of the film. The different lines of composition and the role of the soundtrack in the film as a whole, as well as the contemporary position of the composer, are examined in detail. 
For the composer, it is important to use expertise and context to create the necessary musical elements that will define the personalities of the different main characters, the historical context and cultural aspects and the setting of the storyline. The elements used must also evolve and mutate as the story develops. 
The soundtrack also includes the development of an original sound texture and a sound design from a musical point of view. These will determine the musical character, but can also be used in a different function - rather thematically.
The new sound texture and sound design will blend harmoniously in a classical orchestra, but may also manifest themselves in opposite ways or be used in contrast. 

Thanks to my musical professional career and experience of more than 30 years in the international music industry (as a pianist, composer, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, electrical sound design, producer, music director) I have developed my own techniques, systems and methodologies and have been able to apply them in the most diverse productions. 
The multiple international recognitions I have received, including the World Soundtrack Award in 2014 as a film composer, have given me the opportunity to participate at an international level. 

With this research project, I would like to continue searching for new approaches, insights and applications and immediately deploy them in this international film production. With great pleasure and enthusiasm I would like to share my experiences and knowledge with colleagues and students.

Giacomo Danese. Theodor W. Adorno's compositional thought: from the reconstruction of the score of the Klavierlieder op. 3 to the critical approach to the twelve-tone serialism.

Adorno’s critical thinking, in the dual role of integrated theorist and uncomfortable outsider within the Second Viennese School before and after the Second World War, turns out to be decisive not only in terms of an enhancement and a transdisciplinary promotion of the experience of Schönberg and his pupils, but in emerging as a vital theoretical junction of the debate inside and outside the Viennese School.
In light of the growing new interest aroused by his figure, this research project wishes to analyse a lesser known sector of his production – his compositions - and his critical thought about twelve-tone technique and serialism in the postwar era. 
In particular, the project consists of two parts. The first part will extended the already advanced research work by the author on the compositions of Adorno, focusing this time on the reconstruction and publication of the score of one of his most important song cycles for voice and piano: the Vier Lieder für eine mittlere Stimme und Klavier op. 3, composed between Vienna and Frankfurt in 1925-1928.
The second part of the project has an historical and aesthetic perspective. In particular, it aims to dig up a dialectical outlook on twelve-tone technique and the development of serialism, which emerged both in official publications and in informal exchanges between the protagonists, the outsiders and the prominent figures of the music scene before and after the second world war. 

Roel Das. The use of hardware and the modular synthesizer as an educational tool within the training program of electronic music performers.

The computer has seen a vast development in the last 30 years and in its current state allows for most conceivable methods of audio processing to be done in real time, in a very cost efficient way. Consequently, the computer is the most logical instrument choice for the performance of music electronics. 
As a pedagogical tool however, the computer also has its limitations. The interface is not intuitive; to create a workable instrument, a control surface needs to be connected and the functionality needs to be mapped manually to chosen parameters. To manage this in an intuitive manner, a certain background knowledge is required, which is not yet present for unexperienced students. An instrument that a student creates on the computer tends to quickly loose flexibility and room for experimentation. 
Apart from these limitations, software allows for almost anything. This at first sounds amazing, but while an empty page certainly has artistic potential, our artistic education has been traditionally built on performing tasks within a certain number of defined limitations. Students tend to quickly loose focus within the immense playground that the computer offers. 
In a modular synthesizer, each component has a simple and unambiguous function. The students learn the basic building blocks, learn to think from a ‘black box’ idiom when using more complex modules and are motivated to use these tools as input within their own creational processes. 
The question arises if students, from their work with hardware tools, will enrich their musical vocabulary and knowledge in a way that translates to their work on the computer. Do they learn, from their work in these different environments, to expand beyond the instrument and create starting from a sound concept, rather than the technical process?

Tom De Cock. Specific cases from the percussion repertoire of the 20th and 21st century.

Tom De Cock’s research project focusses on specific cases from the percussion repertoire of the 20th and 21st century. These cases provide player’s analyses of the given compositions and technical, practical and interpretative guidelines for the performers that study these pieces. The output of this process is published on the online platform Living Scores Learn ( and serves as an international open source database and knowledge-sharing percussion research-platform for students worldwide. Master students of Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussels are invited to make audio and video recordings of these repertoire pieces. These recordings, supervised by Tom De Cock, are added to the online platform as a reference recording.
The artistic output of this research project is twofold: On the one hand, the particular repertoire cases that are selected each academic year serve as an inspiration and an artistic and formal basis for co-compositions with composer-performers such as Benjamin Van Esser, Frederik Croene, Cédric Dambrain, Joris Blanckaert, Ruud Roelofsen, Andrea Mancianti, Eva Reiter, etc. On the other hand the Micro-Percussion Hybrid Setup, the instrument developed by De Cock during a FRArt scholarship in Liège in 2019-2020 is subject to these co-compositions. The new instrument is to be further developed and fine-tuned during this artistic process of co-creation. This part of the research project is additionally supported bu Ictus and ChampdAction and will find its output in Belgian’s concert scene in the coming seasons.

Jurgen De Pillecyn. The Traité d'harmonie by Paul Gilson (1865- 1942) as an artistic credo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Since the publication of the biography on Paul Gilson by Gaston Brenta (1926, 1965), several contributions have been devoted to Gilson's importance in Belgian musical life. These are mainly of a music historical nature. However, not much has been published about his music-theoretical writings. More recently, however, a few contributions have appeared that focus mainly on Gilson's wind music. A thorough study of Gilson's pedagogical vision is still lacking for the time being. It must be said that the reason for this is not only the lack of available original study material, the publications (or manuscripts) themselves. Gilson's theory works were not reprinted and are now difficult to trace or consult. Unfortunately, the comments in reference books on the lemma 'Gilson' do not always encourage further study of his pedagogical work, which is dismissed as 'outdated', 'dry', 'conservative'. This study takes a closer look at what may be called the basic constituent of Gilson's composing, harmony and the importance of chordal connections to other musical parameters. In order to better assess the originality of Gilson's concept, his vision will be juxtaposed with those of other important composer-theorists, in particular with those of Vincent d' Indy (1851 -1931) and Charles Koechlin (1867-1950). His attitude towards, on the one hand, the academism of classical harmony teaching and, on the other hand, the modernism of the early twentieth century is also examined, with particular attention to Gilson's assessment of Claude Debussy.
     Especially in the Traité d' harmonie (1919 -1926) Gilson's pedagogical and compositional vision seems to have crystallized. It examines how he builds up the study of harmony, what method he employs in bringing in new material. The topicality is also examined. Particular attention is paid to the exercises for students, where Gilson insists on a clear tonal foundation with much room for innovation, especially in the approach to the classical bass and soprano exercises. Not only the wealth of musical examples and the author's lavishly shared erudition are surprising, but also the innovative approach to the study of tonal harmony (for example, in the treatment of modulation and parallelism) deserves renewed appreciation. Without harboring revolutionary ambitions, Gilson nevertheless succeeds in presenting the classical musical heritage in a new light. A new and fascinating light, but also with an eye to the future. If, as Arnold Schoenberg says, progress exists in the development of methods of putting something on, then it is high time to revisit Gilson's importance as a pedagogue and theorist.

Philippe Graffin. 'Mon-ton poème', a look at the Unfinished collaboration between Eugene Ysaye and Ernest Chausson on the latter's poème op. 25.

The Chausson poem op 25 is a work I have loved and played since my youth. 
It is particularly significant in the violin repertoire as a pioneer form, free from the sonata form of a concerto format. I studied this piece with Mr Gingold (who himself studied it with its co - author and dedicatee Eugene Ysaye), who explained to me its genèses and some of its hidden secrets. I have then made my first recording with Lord Menuhin conducting, who also taught me a lot about it  (his own teacher being George Enesco). I then found a forgotten unpublished version for string quartet , piano and violin, similar in instrumentation to chausson Concert op 21 written before, and also a different draft from Ysaye who is greatly responsible for the violin writing . 
My research is to put all these different original sources into one performance, to add information from Ysaye’s own version with organ, and to  tell the story behind the piece, its inspiration . 
This will, hopefully, be in a form of a film, and a score. 
My previous research on Ysaye and the newly discovered sonate posthume, resulted in a published score (schott in Mainz 2020)

Jan Michiels. A Proustian Camera Obscura

With his PhD-project – Teatro dell’Ascolto – as a starting point, Jan Michiels continues to explore his repertoire as a pianist with the ears of Luigi Nono’s Prometeo : “Listen ! Do you call truth that narrow opening that lets light in for a single moment only?”.
A new perspective in his trajectory is the time/memory experience of a musician seen and heard through the lenses of Proust’s ‘A la recherche du temps perdu’. He is currently creating a Proustian Camera Obscura for music – a metaphoric tool for listening and performing human bodies – playing music from Bach till today.

Marcel Ponseele (in collaboration with Stefaan Verdegem). Twelve Leipzig Oboes of the Bach Era Reconsidered.

Since the early music revival of the last century musicians have been looking for appropriate period instruments – being either originals or copies. Contradictory to the principles of Historically Informed Performance Practice, preference is often given to all-round woodwind instruments playing at c.415Hz, in order to cover the whole baroque repertoire. Although Johann Sebastian Bach is currently about the most performed baroque composer, until today most baroque oboists worldwide play his music on a copy of an English Stanesby oboe. Copies made after Leipzig oboes from the 1710-1740s were not entirely successful so far, for various reasons. An examination of the surviving Leipzig oboes from the Bach era, resulting in a comparative study of measurement data brought new insights about woodwind making in this city in the second quarter of the eighteenth century, and will hopefully culminate in a good copy of a Bach oboe, which has the required qualities for today’s concert and recording purposes. 

Bart Quartier. 'Music is the space between the notes'- Claude Debussy.

This quote was the purpose of the previous research: ‘Dialogue’ 24 variations for marimba. How can we translate the vertical movements typical for percussion into the horizontal character of a legato, phrasing? Each research is an answer to the previous one and a question to the next one:
Where do we find the relationship between the vertical movements and the rhythm, pulsation, ‘the space between notes ‘? The search for resources – in which grooves is the main item - gives us an answer to the research of today: ‘Move’ 12 grooves for marimba.
Resources are different styles in different cultures: The birth of the music can be found in the Aka tribes of Africa. Tremendous complex structures are typical for Indian classical music: the konnakol is accompanied by the tala and tabla. The endless long structures in the music of Iran on Tombak. Las palmas and el cajón in the Flamenco of Andalucía. The large variety of rhythms in Central-America and Brazil is unthinkable without claves, congas, surdo in the rumba, salsa, bossa nova...
These resources together with a scene experience with Trilok Gurtu (tabla, India) Doudou ’n Diaye Rose, (sabar, Senegal), Mamady Keïta (djembé, Guinea), Madjid Khaladj (tombak, Iran), Vina Lacerda (pandeiro, Brazil) form a solid base to realize this project
The output of the research will be the translation of these sources into compositions for marimba directed to students of intermediate level.

Viviane Spanoghe. Forgotten gems of French repertoire for cello and piano, contemporaries of Claude Debussy, linked to the cellists to whom they were dedicated.

This academic year I am preparing, again with pianist Jan Michiels, a CD with sonatas of rarely played or even unknown works by French contemporaries of Claude Debussy. Etcetera will release this CD and distribute it internationally.

Apart from discovering and studying these beautiful, powerful scores, I would also like to find out who the cellists were to whom these works were dedicated, to what extent the historical context of the time (can) influence the compositions and thus our interpretation.

I would like to give these works their more than deserved renown and let them seep into the current repertoire and programming. The release of the CD is planned for autumn 2021. 

Koenraad Sterckx. Hans Swinnen's e-scores.

Composer and arranger Hans Swinnen (1941-2017) left a valuable electronic music library, consisting of his own compositions, arrangements and transcriptions. The eldest part of the collection, however, isn't readable anymore for present-day computers because of the numerous updates the used music notation software underwent since the nineties.

In the first phase of this project, an attempt will be made to protect the collection from further decay or loss. To this end, a working environment will be created in which the old software can be run again in order to convert the scores to a standard format from the archival world, e.g. PDF. In a few cases, a reconstruction of lost musical passages will probably be necessary.

The second phase of the project aims to make the scores accessible to musicians, with respect for copyright regulation. An attempt to organize performances of the music will be made as well.

At last, the project will be documented on the library's research platform, in order to serve as a prototype for similar projects trying to digitally preserve e-collections.

Maarten Stragier. The contemporary functioning of the composer-score-performer structure in the Western classical tradition, and on its implied notions of creative property.

My research focuses on the contemporary functioning of the composer-score-performer structure in the Western classical tradition, and on its implied notions of creative property. I develop this inquiry along two tracks. 

The first track is constituted by case studies of music written in the past half century. The works I am particularly interested in fall into two categories: those of which the actual realization problematizes the notion of authorship latent in their surrounding discourse; and those that challenge dominant notions of the score as a means for mass-reproduction in the classical music industry.

The second track consists of experimentation with material conditions that cause lines between the roles of composer and performer to shift and blur. These experiments are part of long-term collaborations with other musical creators, and their wide-ranging effects are the subject of continuous analysis.

Rudy Van der Cruyssen. Explore, Burn, Perform: Blended Learning for Rhythm & Intonation

The research project Explore, Burn, Perform: Blended Learning for Rhythm & Intonation is a research project into the optimisation of artistic knowledge processes, practice and transmission. It aims to provide tailor-made guidance for each student through an integrated approach in order to generate higher success rates for the student. It will investigate how the optimisation of a digital learning platform can offer an answer to the specific learning question and needs of the student in an artistic musical practice. In addition, work is being done on embedding a more flexible learning pathway in terms of quality, quantity, time and space in order to give the student a chance to give more substance to his/her personal pathway, as well as to gain practice or knowledge through external learning circles via Blended Learning.

Benjamin Van Esser. Performer- audience Communication in Computer-based Music Performance

Performer-audience communication can easily be regarded as one of the biggest (and therefore most debated) problems the contemporary computer musician faces in a live performance situation. This can be accredited to a disassociation between the performative gestures and the sounds they (do or don’t) produce. This disconnection, which is absent in most traditional instruments, is intrinsic to the computer musician’s instrument. Furthermore, the constitution of the instrument is inextricably linked to the idiomatic nature of the compositions which are to be performed on it. 

While it is impossible to see the choices made in regard to the formation of the instrument as detached from the idiomatic nature of the performed compositions, the instrument has an undeniable influence on the aesthetic nature of these compositions as well. This conundrum is a common fact for the computer music performer, who is burdened with pursuing a balance between all given factors, in order to create as much artistic freedom as possible. This phenomenon exists in both the context of the ‘composition’ of the instrument as in the aesthetic language applied during music creation. 

Benjamin Van Esser’s research is based on the notion that an electronics performer is a multi-threaded performer by default, creating artistic micro-universes in which performance, composition and ‘digital lutherie’ are inextricably linked. Subsequently, solutions to the aforementioned problem of performer-audience communication can be found by obtaining a specific balance between these three capacities. In this regard, the output of this research project is manifold, spanning from live electronic and multimedia performance to electronic/electroacoustic creation and musical programming. 

more information:

Annelies Van Parys. Maximalizing musical theatricality in a non-staged context.

For (orchestral) lied we often think of rather poetic or evocative texts. However, there are many examples that go for a more theatrical approach. This approach is the point of departure for my research: To explore what are the possibilities to maximalize musical theatricality without staging within my own musical language, and what are the best creative methods. To investigate this, I write some new compositions where I will experiment with different ways of co-creation. In a first work, I depart from an experiment with co-creation to make a new composition. I try to map the influences of this process on the resulting piece. What is the impact of the specific collaboration on the synergy of the different parts and how does this interaction influence my musical language? Does this method help to have a more coherent and interactive musical dramaturgy and if yes, how? The second, more focused case is the development of a short chamber music one-act play where the co-operation focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration of text and music and their mutual interaction. What is the best working process to aim at an ideal interdisciplinary dramaturgy in order to enhance the theatricality? The reflections of my research of working methods in both preparatory pieces, will be the fundamentals for the composition of an orchestral lied that aims at conveying a full musical theatrical feeling without staging.

Stefaan Verdegem. Donizetti and the Concertino for English horn. 

Gaetano Donizetti's Concertino for English horn (1816) is probably the most important nineteenth century concerto for this specific instrument, and certainly the most performed. Fifty years after Robert Meylan's edition (Litolff / Peters) based on the autograph score located in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the source material needed to be reconsidered, resulting in a new critical edition of this piece. Not only is this piece to be performed in another key, moreover, the parts material for the première of 19 June 1817 at the Liceo Filarmonico in Bologna shows many corrections and variations, and give interesting insights in the performance practice of that era, including written out cadenzas, likely by the soloist and dedicatee Giovanni Catolfi.

Stefaan Verdegem. Twelve Leipzig Oboes of the Bach Era Reconsidered.

Since the early music revival of the last century musicians have been looking for appropriate period instruments – being either originals or copies. Contradictory to the principles of Historically Informed Performance Practice, preference is often given to all-round woodwind instruments playing at c.415Hz, in order to cover the whole baroque repertoire. Although Johann Sebastian Bach is currently about the most performed baroque composer, until today most baroque oboists worldwide play his music on a copy of an English Stanesby oboe. Copies made after Leipzig oboes from the 1710-1740s were not entirely successful so far, for various reasons. An examination of the surviving Leipzig oboes from the Bach era, resulting in a comparative study of measurement data brought new insights about woodwind making in this city in the second quarter of the eighteenth century, and will hopefully culminate in a good copy of a Bach oboe, which has the required qualities for today’s concert and recording purposes. 

Stefaan Verdegem. A St Matthew Passion with Wagnerian Allures - Bach's masterpiece in the 1896 version by François-Auguste Gevaert.    

The performances of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the Conservatoire Royal de Musique de Bruxelles in 1896 were a culminating point in the Brussels Bach revival which started 25 years previously under the Conservatoire director François-Auguste Gevaert (1828-1908). Besides the comprehensive press, archives and literature about this event, Gevaert’s handwritten score and orchestral material, as well as the published vocal score, give a detailed view about the performance practice of Bach’s music at the end of the 19th century. It also sheds a somewhat different light on Gevaert – being reputed for arranging masterpieces – and his vision on the authenticity issue.

Boyan Vodenitcharov. Improvisation in classical music context today. 

ln general terms I support the idea shared by many that improvisation is composition in real time, of course being aware of the significant differences between the two processes. Although for me it represents undeniably the connection between the compositional and the instrumental act of music making.
Improvisation has been a principal form of music education up until the end of the 19th century. lts withdrawal from the classical music scene as well as from the educational processes has given quite disastrous results: total separation between the theoretical knowledge, the act of composition and that of instrumental performance; hyper specialization, leading to fragmentation of the musical attitudes and lack of comprehensiveness ;stylistic misunderstanding, distrust and fear from the contemporary musical languages. The disconnection between composition and performance has been regretted by many, namely by Glen Gould, who claimed that the above mention separation is one of the major catastrophes in music history. ln my opinion, improvisation could and should find its way back into the music education- I am convinced that this would be beneficial for both composers and performers.