Three Performances: A Virtual (Musical) Improvisation


“Three performances: a virtual (musical) improvisation” is an artistic experiment that the authors call a ‘performance-reading’. It delineates three different stages of liveness by combining and interweaving a verbal/ graphic transcription of a recorded musical improvisation by the authors with an analytical text. We open with a discussion of liveness in the initial improvisation – the first performance – of which the chapter is considered a mediatized representation. Following the possibility that liveness may also inhere to mediatized representations, the text and score themselves are then presented as the second performance. Drawing on theories of reader-response criticism, we explore how the reader becomes the audience, interacting with the written artifacts in the co-construction of meaning. Thirdly, the text and score are offered to the reader as actual (re)creative performance materials, extending into realtime and phyiscal space the virtual performance in which they have been involved throughout throughout the chapter. On the whole the authors argue for a conception of liveness beyond temporal-spatial attendance and situate the experience of liveness right within the aesthetic experience of the individual.

Experiencing Liveness in Contemporary Performance. Ed. by Matthew Reason and Anja Mølle Lindelof. London: Routledge, pp. 242–253.