1.3.4 Intertwined theories, practical work, and the outline of my critical reflection

With a definition of theory in the critical discourse, as comparative and inherent in the field, I can focus on the critical reflection in my project more clearly. I can see how the relationship with other artists and genres has been supplying my work with parallels and opposites. My solo and group rehearsals, the recordings and evaluations of rehearsals, the notes in my log on different levels after rehearsals and performances, reflections on the postproduction of recordings, playing with other musicians, conversations with other musicians, colleges and supervisors, researching audience feedback, adjusting and discovering new things, listening to other musicians, reading what other musicians are thinking, writing my reflections for someone to read and understand, presenting my project and taking part in the compulsory programme activities… all of this involves constantly moving between the different sites of Nyrnes’ model: the language of the researcher ‒ the research object ‒ the theory. The theories in use will not necessarily stand out as theories along the way: often they will intertwine naturally and rather be identified as theories when taking a step out of the artistic process ‒ taking a comparative view.

This intertwining of theories is therefore unavoidable when giving form to the critical reflection. I find it useful  now, in this regard, to create an outline where I point out where these theories are most obviously implemented and used in my writings and examples.

Outline of my critical reflection:

In the present section (1.8), I see my artistic background, development and choices ‒ in the light of important principles and developments in my genre and its surrounding artistic fields.


In Chapter 2, I look at my choice of tools and techniques – in the light of:

–       The act of improvisation

–       The aesthetics of my genre

–       Discussions and developments in music technology


In Chapter 3, I look at new musical parameters made available through the use of technology, and I also describe an experience-based model for categorising processed voice sounds ‒ in the light of:

–       The position of the sole acoustic voice as an instrument in music

–       Theories and research on how the natural and processed voice is perceived in music

–       The experience of voice, meaning and language in sound poetry and the spoken word

–       The need for structuring choices, predictability and the  “inner ear” in improvisation


In Chapter 4, I look at new roles for the vocalist through the use of live electronics ‒ in the light of:

–       The singer’s traditional role in music and interplay

–       The different musical structures and situations in the improvised interplay


In Chapter 5, I describe how technological tools also can create new strategies in the performance situation for a vocal ensemble ‒ in the light of the connection between control and intuitive action in improvisation.


In Chapter 6, I look briefly at challenges and strategies in my field of genre –crossing improvisation ‒ in the light of:

–       The mediation between sound-based and intervallic improvisation

–        The Eurological and Afrological elements in modern improvisation


In Chapter 7, I look at the process of bringing in the role of the storyteller into a musical performance with the voice and live electronics in the light of audience feedback collected through research collaboration with musicologist Andreas Bergsland.

The “theories” are of a different nature and operate on different levels. Some of them are inherent in the processual nature of real-time improvisation, some are inherent in the aesthetic practices in my field, and some are based on observations, reflections and formulations in the field of musicology. All of the “theories” are not necessarily chosen as a starting point for the research, but are recognised as being relevant – or also as already implemented ‒ along the way. In this way, I experience the situation as an artistic researcher closely connected to my situation as a practitioner ‒which is important, not only for me, but, as I see it, for the question of validity in the research.

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