Redefining intercultural musicology as a mode of artistic and cultural translation: reassessing the National Gallery’s soundscapes exhibition (2015), with critical comparison to 'Pictures at Our Exhibition', Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra (2016)

Minors, Helen Julia (2016) Redefining intercultural musicology as a mode of artistic and cultural translation: reassessing the National Gallery’s soundscapes exhibition (2015), with critical comparison to 'Pictures at Our Exhibition', Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra (2016). In: Building Interdisciplinary Bridges Across Cultures (BIBAC2016); 30 Jul - 01 Aug 2016, Cambridge, U.K.. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper speaks to the conference theme concerning cultural, relational and intercultural musicology while referring to the politics of intercultural and interdisciplinary events. Specifically, it explores the way that the chosen composers responded to their artistic selections. It speaks to the negative criticism this exhibition received in the national UK press (The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Standard), in debating whether intercultural and interdisciplinary works might dilute spectator engagement with these artistic works, or whether it promotes accessibility and wider cultural appreciation. The misalignment between aesthetic value and accessibility seems striking with this assessment: ‘It is feeble, pusillanimous, apologetic and, even in its resolute wrong-headedness, lacks all ambition’ (Cumming, 2015). In tackling the journalistic criticism, I utilize an intercultural musicological approach, with an emphasis on identifying the relational features of this exhibition. In so doing, it challenges how an intercultural musicological assessment of this recent exhibition asserts that such a mode of enquiry relies on intersemiotic translation and a consideration of cultural value in terms imposed (due to funding consideration) at least partially by government. Placing music and art in dialogue emphasizes the ability for music to project the sense of something beyond itself. With the old work set alongside the new music, and with composers and artists drawn from diverse historical-cultural backgrounds, the musical responses reframe the cultural symbolic content of the chosen pieces of art. A musical appropriation of certain cultural features residing in each painting challenges the spectator to seek relational features between the audio and visual works.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Title: Building Interdisciplinary Bridges Across Cultures (BIBAC2016)
Organising Body: BIBAC, Cambridge University
Additional Information: This conference included papers, performances, discussions, debates and experimental practice-making workshops, to which all delegates contributed.
Research Area: Education
Music
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Performance and Screen Studies
Depositing User: Helen Minors
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2016 08:28
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2016 08:28
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/35645

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