Using Collaborative Event Ethnography to Explore Embodied Approaches to Performing Experimental Music

Redhead, L. 2022. 'Using Collaborative Event Ethnography to Explore Embodied Approaches to Performing Experimental Music'. In: Performance Studies Network Conference 2022. University of Surrey, United Kingdom 30 June - 3 July 2022. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

From November 2019-April 2020, this project examind embodied approaches to performance through a series of workshops that will explore a variety of repertoire and techniques in experimental music, including its intersection with technology.

It investigated methods of identifying and reporting on research observations that arise as a result of such performance, with a focus not on a finished ‘product’ but on the experience of the performers during their investigation of the music. Participants in the workshops discussed and explored the ‘moment of knowledge’ in practice research, and therefore considered not only how knowledge arises from their approaches to performance, but how it might be identified, described, and shared.

Beyond embodied performance practices, these workshops followed a model of staff-student collaboration, that was supported and scaffolded by individual performers with specific expertise in aspects of experimental music (Dr Mira Benjamin and Dr Pete Furniss).

In order to synthesise and compare the observations of all of the participants (professionals and students), the project employed a methodology that combines Performance Autoethnography (Denzin, 2003) and Collaborative Event Ethnography (Campbell and Brosius, 2010; Weston et al, 2019). This methodology acknowledges that practice research is both observed and embodied and that research insights may arise from multiple viewpoints; through employing Collaborative Event Ethnography the project externalised the experience of a large and varied group, structured around collaboratively-decided shared aims and goals, but allowing for the expression of moments of insight that might have been overlooked from a single point of observation or experience. This paper presents early results from the project, focusing on the development and outcomes of the methodological approach, and suggestions for observing and documenting performance as research that arose from the workshops.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Collaborative Event Ethnography, Autoethnography, Embodiment, Experimental Music

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30 June 2022Published

Event Location:

University of Surrey, United Kingdom

Date range:

30 June - 3 July 2022

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Date Deposited:

07 Jul 2022 14:01

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2022 14:01


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