European Platform for Artistic Research in Music (EPARM)

Second Meeting of the European Platform
for Artistic Research in Music (EPARM)

Hosted by the Academia Belgica and the
Conservatorio Santa Cecilia, Rome, 10-12 May 2012

Fuelling Creative Enquiry: sources and resources for artistic researchers

The resources available to scientifically-oriented researchers in music are varied and plentiful. To offer a far from exhaustive list, they range across:
• musical manuscripts and published scores
• recordings of musical performances
• accounts by composers
• performers and concert attendees
• preserved instruments and images of them in a range of iconographical artefacts
• details of concert programmes
• financial accounts itemising costs and a host of other details associated with musical events, and even dating clues provided by watermarks in the paper used by composers.

More recently, new technology has permitted, amongst other things, minutely detailed spectrographic analysis of recordings and the scanning of musicians’ brain activity while performing or listening to music.
Artistic research in music is predicated upon the crucial acceptance into this list of a very different kind of resource – the subjective understanding of the composer or performer him- or herself, both as it functions in the midst of the music-making act and as it can be re-captured in subsequent reflection. But is this merely a matter of adding one further implement to the music researcher’s toolkit, or might the reactions of artistic researchers to the toolkit as a whole differ from those in the music sciences? Indeed, does the very philosophy of artistic research demand a re-appraisal of all existing approaches and resources? What special resources do artistic researchers in music need and what should music academies and other institutions supporting artistic research be expected to provide? What are the roles of the historic collections of scores, musical instruments, images and documents held by many music academies in relation to artistic research; is the new discipline a distraction from these collections, or an opportunity for them to take on unprecedented relevance? At the other end of the historical spectrum, how should music academies refine their investment in new technologies so as best to serve the needs of artistic research; is technology an area where scientific and artistic researchers in music can find a common ground or just another domain for territorial rivalries?

The 2012 conference of the European Platform for Artistic Research in Music (EPARM) seeks to provide a stimulating environment for informed debate about these issues. It will take place in Rome, a city rich in musical associations, and where confrontations between past, present and future are especially apposite. Included in the conference itinerary will be a visit to the internationally significant, but potentially vulnerable, musical collections of the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome.

In preparation for the conference, proposals are now being invited for presentations relating to the theme outlined above. Proposals should take the form of a brief abstract of 300-400 words and should align with one of the categories below:
• Case studies showing novel or distinctive uses of resources by artistic researchers in music, working at Masters, Doctoral or post-Doctoral levels
• Proposals for dedicated training approaches in research methodology suitable for Masters and Doctoral students embarking upon artistic research projects
• Examples from those responsible for research and study resources in music academies of ways in which their priorities are being shaped by, or are helping to shape, the emergence of artistic research in their institutions
• Views from institutional leaders as to how artistic research impacts upon their responsibilities as overall resource providers and managers – as an extra burden or as a potential source of fresh income streams
• Presentations of a polemical nature addressing the pros and cons of music academies adapting to the requirements of artistic research alongside their established commitments to learning and teaching and, where relevant, to more traditional research. Into this category might fall presentations suggesting collaborative models and/or coordination at national and European levels concerning the development of an appropriate infrastructure for artistic research
• Other proposals falling outside any of the above categories but making a convincing argument for their relevance to the conference theme

Abstracts should be accompanied by an indication of which category the proposal addresses, a list of six keywords and short biography of the presenter(s). They should reach the selection committee by Monday 12th March 2012. The selection committee is formed from the EPARM Preparatory Working Group established following the inaugural meeting of the Platform in 2011 and coordinated by the Association Européenne des Conservatoires Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC), currently as part of its ERASMUS Thematic Network for Music ‘Polifonia’ 2011-14.

All presenters selected whose home institution is a member of the AEC will be eligible for a reduced registration fee; student presenters from AEC member institutions will have their fees waived. Some assistance may be provided with travel and accommodation costs for presenters from member institutions, especially student presenters. Other selected presenters, not from AEC member institutions, will be offered a reduction on the non-member registration rate normally applicable.

EPARM 2012 is supported by funds from the European Commission delivered through its ERASMUS Lifelong Learning Programme whose support makes possible the functioning of ‘Polifonia’. The organisers gratefully acknowledge this support, whilst underlining that the final shape of the conference and the content of the presentations will reflect their views and those of the presenters and that the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which might be made of information or opinions contained therein. The organisers also thank the Academia Belgica and Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome for their generous support in providing a magnificent combined venue for the event.