This lecture recital provides insight into my artistic research project on twentieth-century musical monodrama, which has been recently awarded a two-year IRC postdoctoral fellowship at Maynooth University. Through critical investigation and reinterpretation of carefully selected repertoire, ‘En-Gendering Monodrama’ identifies and applies a range of potential experimental approaches to the production and performance of modernist and postmodern musical monodramas. By making this repertoire accessible through smaller-scale productions and arrangements, my project re-empowers the performer, and in this case, the informed artistic researcher, advocating the inherently performative nature of this repertoire. Further, by establishing functional connections with current practice, ‘En-Gendering Monodrama’ seeks to enrich contemporary conceptions of the solo female performer more widely.
The present contribution, supported by live musical examples and documentary materials, describes the early phases of musical and stage work undertaken on the staging of Neither (1977) by Morton Feldman on text by Samuel Beckett, due to be performed in the Fall 2016. In particular, my lecture recital describes the quest for my own embodied “voice” in the making of Neither, both as a project-leader and a performer, highlighting the collaborative nature of my approach as well as its most subjective aspects when dealing with performance demands and actual vocal challenges.
Through the presentation of materials related to my work in progress, I ultimately intend to probe into the potential of artistic research in music, thus plugging into the ongoing discourse about a field that seems to have found its own fertile niche in Ireland lately.