Sandeep Bhagwati: Making Music Glocally
Aesthetics, Theories, Works and Practices of post-exotic Poly-traditionality in Dramaturgical Sound Forms
Wed, May 08, 2013 5 pm CEST, Lecture
After almost one and a half centuries replete with curiosities, exoticisms, appropriations, amalgamations and hybridizations – along with the first colonial, then ethno-musicological and, finally, post-colonial theories on such phenomena – the mix of heterogenic ingredients has now become almost a matter of musical routine: without, however, an aesthetic craft having been developed for this creative “cuisine”. Initially, the unification of various music traditions was based primarily on the “enchanted ear” of single periphery figures. In recent decades, however, the poly-cultural, multi-hybrids and urban life-realities have generated an increasing number of both commercial as well as publically funded and curated “Multicultural” music projects. These are often musically not reflected on – they are sustained by a voluntary self-exoticisation of their musicians and, above all, by their political correctness: All people become brothers wherever a groove anesthetizes the ear.

But there is also another current of inter-traditional music consciously dedicated to the differences between various traditions in playing music, attitudes to performing music, and that acquires new insights and musical forms of experience from such differences. Here, many questions await an answer, such as which aesthetic, social, practical and legitimate strategies are prohibited or provided by a composition, and which consciously emphasizes the presence of diverse music cultures? What kind of aesthetic and discursive response should one have between the two existential poles of one’s own complicated, post-exotic practices, and the still dominating, exoticizing communications strategies and reception reflexes in the public sphere? Among others, it is questions such as these to which Sandeep Bhagwati’s lecture seeks answers.

Sandeep Bhagwati

Sandeep Bhagwati is a composer active at international level, as well as research professor for interdisciplinary and intercultural art, theater-maker and media artist. His large-scale and frequently site-specific multimedia installations and performances have taken place in many of the world’s cities since 1995. In the years between 1990 and 2003, he initiated several festivals for new music, and from 2003 he was curator of the festival “RasalÎla” at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt [House of Cultures of the World], at which contemporary music by Indian composers were comprehensively performed for the first time. Since the mid-1980s, his scholarly research and artistic work has been presented at many international conferences and symposia. In Canada, he made a decisive contribution to the establishment of "Research-Creation" as scientific method. Bhagwati was guest composer at the IRCAM Paris, at the Institut für elektronische Musik Graz, at the ZKM | Karlsruhe, at the Beethovenorchester Bonn, as well as at the California Institute for the Arts. In 2013/14 he will be guest research scholar at the UdK [University of Arts] Berlin. In 2000, Bhagwati was appointed to the chair of composition and multimedia at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe. In 2006, he accepted the appointment for the "Canada Research Chair for Inter-X Art" at Concordia University Montréal. As head of the "matralab" – he directs a laboratory for interdisciplinary and intercultural artistic research in music and the performing arts.
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