Classically-trained performers

In an interview in August 2000, Pierre Boulez said: 'If the rhythms and phrasing that are peculiar to contemporary music would be taught in the best conservatories in an intensive way, the future of contemporary music would certainly change and performers and general public would really start enjoying pieces by Berio, Xenakis or myself. The lack of accuracy in orchestras is the biggest obstacle for communication between composers and public.'

As mentioned in the introduction, the programme for classical performers addresses the problems that may arise in many contemporary pieces ranging from Stravinsky, Béla Bartok and Varese to Xenakis, Boulez, Elliot Carter, Ferneyhough and Ligeti, as well as more recent composers. The main objective is to provide rhythmic tools that will help the student achieve a higher degree of accuracy and confidence. South Indian classical music not only makes use of one of the most complex rhythmical systems but, in addition, has very clear and practical teaching and exercise methods.           

The programme will comprise at least three modules each year. Depending on the depth and the degree of ‘transversality’ that the musician would like to acquire, there are four options. The three modules will be:

1) A weekly individual meeting of 30 minutes in order to coach:
* the preparation of 4 pieces of contemporary music between September and March***  
* a performance of ca. 30 minutes in the annual final concert of the programme in mid-June

The ultimate goals of this coaching are to enable the student to use Karnatic techniques to perform contemporary pieces, and to work out a general methodology for the student to apply to a wide variety of pieces.

*** Students can present their own idea or project, provided that the amount of work will at least equal the amount of work foreseen for the pieces.

2) Attending weekly sessions of 90 minutes of the so-called ‘deepening sessions’ 

3) Choosing one of the four following options

Option 1

Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called Reading Ensemble (Read more on Contemporary music through non-western techniques).
The material of the Reading ensemble clearly addresses the analysis and performance of 20th and 21st century composed repertoire.

Option 2

* Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called Reading Ensemble.
* Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called Improvisation Ensemble.

The goals of participation in the Improvisation ensemble are the internalisation of the material by means of improvising with it to provide an intuitive understanding of the concepts and techniques, as well as learning material not imparted in the Reading ensemble. For more information, please read the Improvisers description.

Option 3

* Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called Reading Ensemble.
* Participation in existing groups of the Composition lessons

The composition lessons will provide a wider corpus of theoretical knowledge and more creative possibilities. For more information, please read the Composers description.

Option 4

* Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called, Reading Ensemble.
* Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called, Improvisation Ensemble.
* Participation in existing groups of the Composition lessons

Please note: The options become increasingly flexible from 1 to 4.  Therefore, for example, the student’s project is the most personal in option 4.

Specific admission requirements for classically-trained performers

Performance of three pieces (solos or duos) of contemporary repertoire written after 1950. The pieces should already feature some level of rhythmical intricacy and not only instrumental technical intricacy.

Specific first year completion requirements

* Preparation of four pieces of contemporary music as explained above (or student’s own project). These pieces should be performed in separate concerts.
* Performance of ca. 30 minutes, in the annual final concert of the programme with participation in different settings and a maximum of 10 minutes of solo pieces. None of the previous pieces performed during the year can be used for this concert.
* Transcription and analysis of two pieces or solos of Karnatic music.

At the end of the first year, the student is expected to have learnt the following topics:
* phrasing with accuracy and feeling on all four gatis
* gati bhedam as phrasing technique in itself and for polypulses as well
* jathi bhedam as a source to control sequences of meter changes as well as phrases that don’t go with the beat, in addition to analysing the use of this technique on pieces that use these two concepts (i.e, The Rite of Spring, Ligeti’s Piano concerto, Quartet for the end of times)
* anuloma-pratiloma and its applications on pieces like Petrushka, or in various pieces by Elliot Carter.

If the Composition module has also been followed, these additional concepts should have been learnt:
* developing of phrases in all gatis through rests and tie-overs
* tree of gati bhedam
* rhythmical sangatis in any of its forms and applications
* developmental techniques like cell fragmentation, cell development, material recycling, non-retrogradable rhythms, five types of viloma and palindrome
* development of jathi bhedam sequences
* sama mukthays and its possible developments
* short mukthays
* anuloma-pratiloma as a concept as well as all its developmental techniques
* six types of yati phrases.

If the Improvisation Ensembles have been chosen, the student is expected to have learnt the additional topics:
* concept of cycle through the suladi tala system, and creation with talas of 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 beats
* blocks of polyrhtyhms with gati/jathi combinations
* create Graphic Densities Chart for semi-improvised pieces
* two-layered sections of gati bhedam against the phrasing along the pulse
* creations of jathi bhedam sequences (of one or two cycles) and different ways to improvise on them

Specific graduation requirements

Preparation of four pieces of contemporary music as per first year completion requirements.
Final recital of ca. 60 minutes, with participation in different settings. The student can use a maximum of 30 minutes of music prepared during the first or second year as part of the recital, and a maximum of 30 minutes of solo pieces.
Transcription and analysis of two pieces or solos of Karnatic music.

At the end of the second year, the student is expected to have learnt the following topics:
* nadai bhedam as a technique to face more complex irregular groupings and its applications on a variety of pieces (Frank Zappa’s Black Page being a very important one)
* gatis 9, 11 and 13
* metrical modulations
* mixed jathi nadai bhedam

If the Composition module has also been followed, these additional concepts should have been learnt:
* nadai bhedam as a source of polypulses through superimpositions
* tirmanas/tirmana-mukthays
* threefold mukthays
* yati mukthays
* compound mukthays
* palindromic mukthays
* sub-mukthays
* tirmana-compound mukthays
* double and triple mukthays
* mukthay combinations
* yatis prastara
* poruttam A
* entanglement and overlapping of different concepts into new ones without names
* mixed jathi nadai bhedam as a developmental concept

If the Improvisation Ensembles have been chosen, the student is expected to have learnt the additional topics:
* nadai bhedam sequence and as the ‘real’ polypulse technique (with superimpositions)
* two types of yati phrases
* three types of threefold mukthays
* three types of yati mukthays

Delen