New musical score exhibition ‘TEXT’ encourages people to think about music in a “different way”


Pop-up musical score exhibition ‘TEXT’ has recently been unveiled at Birmingham City University’s Parkside Building and will occupy the main corridor of the ground floor until April 8.

The display includes 32 musical text scores, a type of post-war written music developed in the mid-twentieth century.

The curators

This Parkside Gallery sub-exhibition has been curated by Andy Ingamells, Paul Norman and Hillary Springfield, second year PhD students at Birmingham Conservatoire and overseen by Dr Michael Walters, Assistant Head of Composition at Birmingham Conservatoire, who said:

It’s about exploring what is music and what is art, we are potentially pushing musicians and thoughts on what music is out of a lot of people’s comfort zone and encouraging people to think about music in a different way.”

Functions of a text score

This “niche practice” in contemporary and classical music has two functions; the first is to encourage musicians to play the pieces, but the second to reflect on conceptual thought experiments.

The audience

The “interpretive nature” of the pieces broadens the audience for this art form, not being confined to just musicians. PhD student, lecturer and performance artist Andy Inagemells said:

“You don’t have to necessarily read music to interpret this form of music, as long as you speak the language that the score is written in. This is an extended idea of what music can be, the style really is quite playful and imaginative and if you keep an open mind it can be quite a joyful experience.”

Andy added: “This form of expression has allowed me to network all over the world, experience being a part of a really nice scene of people and think about music in a different way.”

Formalising this way of thinking

This conceptual thinking has inspired the development of proposed new course ‘MMus Visual and Performing Arts: Idea, concept and realisation’ expected to be implemented in 2017/18, which will formalise this way of thinking.

Birmingham Conservatoire

Birmingham Conservatoire’s new building currently under construction as part of Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus will include a bespoke ‘Experimental Performance Space’ in which investigative concepts such as ‘TEXT’ can be explored.

Frontiers Festival

‘TEXT’ also promotes the notion of welcoming every style of music as long as performers put their all into it, supporting the ethos of Birmingham’s ‘Frontiers Festival’.

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