Sound Theatre and New Instrument Prototypes

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Andrew Bentley, Professor of Music Technology, Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki. Talk at Centre for artsitic research PDA event 5.3.2019
Fortunately I found myself in an interesting place; unfortunately it was rather far from what my audience thinks is music. Ambiguity and contradiction are two words that, while unacceptable to science, can be helpful when framing artistic research. For 18 years, I have been making works of sound theatre situated somewhere on an axis between electronic improvisation—a branch of sound art—and performance art. I see what they occupy as a synthesis, but audiences might experience it as a language void. For me, the process of taking them towards ‘somewhere else’ is an exercise of transportation, against a resistance generated by the pole that they are heading towards. These works could be defined by what I hold sacred (affirmation), or what I am least willing to sacrifice to compromise (negation). I will attempt to illustrate these ideas in the context of a new prototype.