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Music and Transcendence in a Posthuman Age

Musique et transcendance à l’ère du post-humanisme

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Published on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 by Lucie Choupaut

Summary

The purpose of this conference, organized in partnership with the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), is to bring together composers, performers, and scholars to engage with the theme of the Montreal/New Musics Festival (MNM), “Music(s) and Spirituality,” exploring its meaning in the world today through the lens of posthumanist thought.

Announcement

Argument

The purpose of this conference, organized in partnership with the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), is to bring together composers, performers, and scholars to engage with the theme of the Montreal/New Musics Festival (MNM), “Music(s) and Spirituality,” exploring its meaning in the world today through the lens of posthumanist thought. Narratives of spirituality and transcendence tend to focus on individual human experiences or to investigate those of groups treated as homogeneous entities. The view of the composer as a mediator between the individual and the divine (or the sublime) continues to influence the composition and analysis of music characterized as “spiritual” through the composer’s stated intent, the work’s title or subject matter, or the ritualistic context of its performance. Posthumanism invites a turn away from the humanist ideal of a universal (meaning white, male, able-bodied, and heterosexual) “Man” as agent, as well as well as an alternative to the positioning of humanity as superior to and separate from other living organisms. It calls for a new way to view our relationship to nature, to each other, and to technology, leading us to consider the many dimensions (transversal, affective, embodied) and ecosystems in which and with which we create.

In this conference, we hope to investigate how the move away from a human-centered and humanist approach that focuses on the agency of man on his environment can help us rethink musical compositions and their relationship to spirituality. How can music help us to view the world as a connected entity and to engage with it in diverse and new ways? How can posthumanist thought bring a new perspective on contemporary music, spirituality, and ecology and on the ecosystems in which they were created and are performed today? How can an approach that takes into account our relationship to nature and to each other, our differences, and the importance of emotions and affective dimensions of music-making renew our understanding of the relationship between music and spirituality, underlining its importance in the world today? How does the concept of the “sublime,” fundamental to nineteenth-century instrumental music, relate to the contemporary concept of transhumanism, which questions the frontiers of the “human” in this technological age? Posthumanism calls into question the centrality (and agency) of the white, male, able-bodied, and heterosexual subject; in order to explore the many dimensions of spirituality and music-making, we welcome perspectives that go beyond the Western art-music tradition.

Submission guidelines

We invite 350-word proposals for individual in-person papers (20 minutes), pre-recorded or live-streamed video lectures (20 minutes), and artists’ talks or manifestos (20 minutes) in English or French that engage with the many dimensions of spirituality and music-making. We also invite proposals for lecture-recitals (45 minutes) and roundtables or panels (up to 90 minutes). Proposals should be submitted directly through this form.

by 15 September 2022

Presentations may address the work of composers who could be performed during the festival (listed below). However, we also invite proposals beyond the scope of this list and/or the classical Western tradition.

Olivier Messiaen, Andrew Balfour, Katia Makdissi-Warren, Arvo Pärt, Gilles Tremblay, Claude Vivier, Tomas Luis de Victoria, José Evangelista, Salvatore Sciarrino, Giulio Tosti, Walter Boudreau, Jean Lesage, Kalevi Aho, Laura Bowler, Dániel Péter Biró, Örjan Sandred, Juan Vassallo, Yuliya Zakharava, Jean-François Laporte, Linda Catlin Smith, Dieter Mack, Michael Oesterle, Paula Matthusen, Mark Applebaum, Reiko Füting, Angélica Negrón, Lei Liang, Heather Stebbins, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Julien Grégoire, Florent Gauthier

Any questions or communications may be addressed at: festivalmnm2023@gmail.com

Scientific Committee

  • Sandeep Bhagwati (Université Concordia/Matralab)
  • Vanessa-Blais-Tremblay (UQAM)
  • Ariane Couture (Université de Sherbrooke)
  • Jonathan Goldman (Université de Montréal/OICRM)
  • Robert Hasegawa (McGill University)
  • Jean Lesage (McGill University)
  • Snežana Nešić-Davidović (Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover/Université de Montréal)
  • Jelena Novak (Universidade Nova de Lisbonne)

Organizing Committee

  • Ana Sokolović (Université de Montréal/CRCCO/SMCQ/OICRM)
  • Zoey Cochran (Université de Montréal/McGill University)

Coordinators

  • Judy-Ann Desrosiers (Université de Montréal/OICRM)
  • Laurence Gauvin (Université de Montréal/OICRM)

Places

  • Centre Pierre-Péladeau - 300 boulevard de Maisonneuve est
    Montreal, Canada

Event format

Hybrid event (on site and online)


Date(s)

  • Thursday, September 15, 2022

Keywords

  • musique contemporaine, transcendance, post-humanisme, spiritualité, contemporary music, trancendence, posthumanism, spirituality

Contact(s)

  • Judy-Ann Desrosiers
    courriel : judy-ann [dot] desrosiers [at] umontreal [dot] ca
  • Zoey Cochran
    courriel : zoey [dot] cochran [at] umontreal [dot] ca

Information source

  • Judy-Ann Desrosiers
    courriel : judy-ann [dot] desrosiers [at] umontreal [dot] ca

To cite this announcement

« Music and Transcendence in a Posthuman Age », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, https://calenda.org/1002534

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