Experimental Affinities in Music brings together diverse artistic, philosophical, historical and methodological approaches, creating a broad discourse on artistic experimentation, in dialogue with more orthodox notions of interpretation, and contributing to a better understanding of an “experimental attitude” in music. “Experimentation” is taken to be an adventurous compositional, interpretive, or performative attitude that can cut across different ages and styles; “affinities” suggests connectors and connections, convergences, contiguities, and adjacencies that are found in and through a diversity of approaches and topics. The golden thread running through the essays is the quest for “inherently experimental” musical practices, pursued variously from interrogating, descriptive, or challenging perspectives, and applied to music composed between the thirteenth and the twentieth centuries. The texts share a common genesis: the lectures of the International Orpheus Academies for Music and Theory from the years 2011, 2012, and 2013, convened by Luk Vaes and Paulo de Assis. The affinities found here extend beyond scholarly essays by Lydia Goehr, Felix Diergarten, Mark Lindley, Martin Kirnbauer, Edward Wickham, Lawrence Kramer, Hermann Danuser, and Thomas Christensen to include three interviews with pianist Leon Fleisher, with pianist-composer Frederic Rzewski, and with composer Helmut Lachenmann.
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