About Temporality of the Impossible

“Temporality of the Impossible: contemporary violin music, aesthetics, technique and performance” addresses two important and inseparable parts of contemporary music and performance: the tangible and the abstract. The former investigates challenges of the notation and the extended violin techniques, that beside physical occasionally challenge psychological abilities of performers. The latter investigates the shaping of expressivity and sensibility for understanding the music. This research questions what is and where lies the “impossible”, how do we overcome it and grow into understanding and appreciating the unconventional. With this line of questioning the aim is to seek out ways for reshaping the understanding for the “new” aesthetics and the expressivity, and by through remedies for technical “unplayability" offer an alternative approach to what is “virtuosity” in the contemporary era. To ask: can we move from conventional understanding of virtuosity as a “tool to impress” to a “challenge to overcome”? Another objective of this research is to facilitate detailed documentation and observation of performance methodologies and processes employed in realization of musical work with multi-dimensional level of difficulties/challenges.

This is a practice led artistic research. As such, the research is conducted through continuous cycles and exchange between practice and reflection, where rigorous self-reflexivity is paramount and will guide the research through the bi-directional relationship between individual practice and broader socio-cultural context. The collection of data is on one part done through this performance practice and autoethnographic methods, but due to the nature of the research additional and crucial source of information comes from the direct collaboration with composers of relevant music pieces, whenever possible. Conversation between the composers and Dejana Sekulic, and collaborations on new commissions, is aimed to help gain a better insight into the compositional processes and thoughts in order to arrive to better understanding necessary for creating interpretation and performance.

  • Key words: contemporary, violin, performance, interpretation, aesthetics, extended techniques, complexity, dense specificity notation, information vs. instruction