Beyond the Aural: Towards an Intermodal Framework for the Creation and Analysis of Performed Music
A music performance is an environment inhabited by an ecology of modalities, and music composed for performance should be discussed in terms of the various modalities and their interdependencies. Composition and analysis have traditionally prioritised the aural and the formal and tended to ignore performance space politics, corporeality, architecture, the objecthood of instruments and the subjecthood of instrumentalists, and other non-aural elements which contribute to the concert experience. This exegesis outlines a framework for the intermodal discussion of multimodal music for performance: Post-Aural Music. In Post-Aural Music the hierarchy of elements becomes fluid, the ‘aural’ no longer being the assumed authority. The framework is modelled after Hans-Thies Lehmann’s Postdramatic Theatre, an examination of modern theatre tendencies resulting from the dethroning of ‘drama’. It looks to Matthias Rebstock and David Roesner’s book Composed Theatre, an observation on how ‘compositional thinking’ is being applied to these other disciplines; and is illustrated by an analysis of Helmut Lachenmann’s Pression from the Post-Aural perspective. I reflect on the process and presentation of my own performance event Fish in Pink Gelatine, a ‘performed installation and staged concert’, as the creative project this exegesis supports.