Performance and Creativity: Harpsichord as Cultural Microcosm

Wednesday 6 June 2012, 4.00PM

Speaker(s): Jane Chapman (Royal College of Music)

'There came a moment of madness when the feeling harpsichord thought that it was the only harpsichord in the world, and that the whole harmony of the universe resided in it.'  Diderot (1769)

Jane Chapman will examine the harpsichord as a source of inspiration for a new body of innovative work and performance techniques, drawing on and confronting its historical associations and redefining its position today through solo performance and wider artistic collaboration. This presentation explores the creative process as partnership between performer and composer, illustrated by key works that have been written for her. She will investigate ideas of performance practice, authenticity and interpretation when applied to the appropriation of musical ideas and inspiration from the 'other', in particular the challenges of reconstructing and contextualising the first publication of Indian music written in staff notation for performance on Western instruments, namely The Oriental Miscellany; being a collection of the most favourite airs of Hindoostan, compiled and adapted for the harpsichord, &c. by William Hamilton Bird (Calcutta, 1789).

Location: Room 058