PENNY Jean, Andrew BLACKBURN and Valerie ROSS
Electroacoustic Music as Intercultural Exploration: Synergies of Breath in Extended Western Flute and Malaysian Nose Flute Playing
Edition: AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (CMPCP), Performance Studies Network International Conference, University of Cambridge, April 2013
Type of media: Article
The Imaginary Space: Developing Models For An Emergent Malay / Western Electroacoustic Music is a Malaysian Government funded research project being undertaken at the Universiti Pendidkan Sultan Idris, Malaysia. This study revolves around the creation and performance of new works for instruments and electronics by Malaysian composers, incorporating and synthesising elements from Malaysian and Western art music cultures. Through ethnographic, performative and compositional explorations, the project is drawing upon aspects of new music and traditional musics of Malaysia to create connections, new knowledge and new musical works. This paper focusses on the divergent practices of the Malaysian aboriginal nose flute, as heard in the rural areas of Perak and Pahang, and the extended Western flute, as explored and manifest in the performance of a new work for flutes and live electronics. Juxtaposing these two instruments in an electroacoustic setting has generated a new musical context and a site for cultural interchange, here articulated from the performative perspectives of instrumentalist and sound designer. Comments from the composer, Valerie Ross, on writing the work, her field work amongst the Orang Asli people, and the pensol flute; reflective critiques and responses to developing and performing the work from the perspectives of the flautist (Jean Penny) and sound technologist (Andrew Blackburn); and some reflections on the first performance by ourselves and from the audience are included.