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Grieg Research School in Interdisciplinary Music Studies

A busy week with Papers and Performances in Bergen

Grieg Research School’s third seminar was held from November 28 to the December 1. The seminar had a focus on the study of musical performance.

The title of the seminar was Performing sound and sentiment, self and society. 4 keynote speakers, 8 candidates and 2 seniors from 6 different countries were presenting papers. The topic performance was illuminated from all the different disciplines (music education, musicology, music therapy), and for the first time there were also presentations by candidates in performance.

We asked one of the candidates, Anna Helle-Valle, about her experience.

- This is my first PhD seminar with the research school, so for me it was a good opportunity to meet the other candidates and hear about their projects. This was an interdisciplinary seminar, and my project is interdisciplinary, so that was interesting. Had the seminar, as my project, been a combination of psychology and music therapy, it would have been even more relevant. But it was inspiring to hear about the different topics and methods.

Another candidate, Kari Holdhus from Stord/Haugesund University College, declares that she in many ways had a good time at the research seminar, and she says that she was especially satisfied with the response on her presentation.

- It showed me that my choices are acceptable and that I mostly can keep calm and carry on. Some of the other presentations were also very useful, and keynotes were very interesting. I would have liked a more thorough discussion or collaboration with people from ther artistic field.

Zoltan Paulinyi, a Brasilian violinist, composer and PhD candidate, was coming all the way from Portugal where he's currently studying. He is one of the candidates representing the artistic field, and his presentaion was a combination of performance and lecture. 

- I am glad to have presented a paper on Brazilian music in Bergen with my wife Iracema Simon, exactly 120 years after the start of Brazilian modernism by the friendship between Grieg and Nepomuceno, a historical fact in Brazilian music. The subject was within the interdisciplinary focus of the seminar, although Brazilian music seemed to be a good surprising theme for a lecture-recital. It was a seminar with few and engaged people, very well balanced between keynotes, PhD candidates, breaks, concerts, formal and informal meetings. The seminar promoted by the Grieg Research School motivates me to develop more interdisciplinary artistic researches, especially with those who attended the seminar.

In addition to ordinary paper presentations the second Preliminary Viva Voce Examination was held during this seminar. Silje Valde Onsrud was the candidate, and the opponent was Gro Anita Kamsvåg from Norwegian Academy of Music. We asked Silje how it was to have a Preliminary Viva Voce.

- First of all it was a privilege to have an external person reading so much of my text and commenting so detailed upon it. The situation was not so different from other presentations of the PhD-study in progress, exept for the time schedule. Of course it was a useful experience to present and discuss in front of an audience for about two hours.

GRS is planning to arrange a Preliminary Viva Voce each semester, and the next will probably be during the research seminar that will be held at Bergen University College in June.

Every evening during the week the seminar participants also had the possibility to attend concerts arranged by Holbergdagene. And one evening it was even a house concert for and by the seminar participants. So this was truly a week focusing on performance in many aspect.

At the end of the seminar week those who would like to have even more input could attend the conference Musikkens Virkning (The Effects of Music). The conference was arranged at the Science Centre VilVite Friday 2. The topic was new knowledge in music therapy. The conference participants could also have a preview of the new exhibition at the science centre VilVite: "Samspill - en utstilling om musikkterapi".

You can read more about the exibition here, or see a filmclip reporting from the conference and from the exhibition here. You can also read more about the whole week on the MusicNet West web pages.