Topic – How can we understand togetherness in ensemble performances with collaborative/ interactive/ intelligent digital scores?

This was the sixth conversation in a series of trans-disciplinary discussions with experts from a range of fields to enhance the theoretical understanding of the digital score. The aim of this series is exploratory and openness so that we expose, rather than close, new insights that help us understand meaning-making in digital score creativity.

Among many invaluable topics and contributions these insights emerged as critical:

  • musical togetherness can be understood as being socially rewarding, and this can be split into two distinct areas: 1) close musical alignment, b) social connections
  • These are positive connections and meaningful from an emotional connection as well as musical competencies
  • musical togetherness tends to be focused on embodied relationships, such as shared rhythms, feelings, and synchronicity.
  • Key factors are: presence, ability to distinguish self and others as/ in sound, reliable relationships

Digital scores can evoke a sense of togetherness by (in order of difficulty):

  • 1. being responsive beyond rhythmic synchronicity such as dynamic, articulation, phrasing
  • 2. sharing musical goals beyond sound parameters into musical ideas. Perhaps learning over time
  • 3. showing itself to be creative; offering sensible motives, inspiration and playfulness
  • 4. showing facets that are aligned to the natural musicality of humans; these may be familiar to inspire meaning-making.

Challenges to the research:

  • 1. Attention issues - does a digital score demand too much attention? Is it too verbose or trying to show too much? Does it take the musicians out of the music?
  • How does it segregate itself from the others? Can it integrate as a musician into the ensemble?
  • 3. The digital score is a useful platform for testing out togetherness due to its disruption of many musical norms (scoring), controllability, and defined aesthetic ideas.