Unfettered and Alive: Performing identity in new music for guitar
HfMT, Fanny Hensel-Saal
This presentation explores musical identity and the performer’s “sonic self” in the creation and realization of new works for solo classical guitar. Through an active, embodied methodology, the performer makes meaning of experiences both musically and narratively.
Until recently, studies of Western classical music have traditionally focused on the identities and practices of composers and scores as the objects of analysis. In the “performance of music”, we know much about the materials of “performance” and of “music”, yet far less about the space between – the “of” – and how the interpreter’s subjectivities influence this process.
As part of a doctoral artistic research project, the performer’s identity was placed in the foreground through collaboration with five composers each commissioned to each write a piece solo guitar in response to personal testimony and storytelling by the performer. In this approach, musical performance is used as a multidimensional tool for not only representing social-artistic research, but also a means of obtaining new insights. This performance-presentation features works from the album Unfettered and Alive and aims to explore the spaces between score and performance through narration of the lenses through which the performer sees the world.
Libby Myers is an Australian guitarist and researcher dedicated to exploring the ever-changing identity of the classical guitar. She is an active member of Australia’s contemporary music community, and has performed across Australia, Spain, Canada and USA. In 2022, she released the solo album Unfettered and Alive which features collaborations with composers from diverse musical worlds of jazz, classical and indie genres. She is a doctoral candidate at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where her research focuses on innovative artistic and narrative methodologies, intersubjectivity and experimentation in contemporary music. She is a research assistant on interdisciplinary projects at the Creative Arts Research Institute Griffith University and serves on the PhD steering committee for the Gender Equality Research Network.
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