ResearchWorks: New Pathways from Practice to Performance
New Pathways from Practice to Performance: Musician and Audience Perspectives on Classical Improvisation
Lindsay Fillingham & Pauliina Haustein
Following a century of decline, the last two decades have seen classical improvisation resurface, gaining attention amongst musicians, educators and audiences. However, despite research showing clear benefits to musicians and audiences, classical ensemble improvisation remains surprisingly rare.
In this presentation, two Guildhall School doctoral researchers will explore group improvisation within classical music from different perspectives. Lindsey Fillingham’s action research study on classical improvising ensembles will explore musicians' insights into themes including safety and risk, freedom and boundaries, and anxiety and confidence. Cellist Pauliina Haustein has examined the two-way interaction and relational engagement which occurs between performers and audience members during live classical concerts, when improvisation is involved.
Initial findings in both studies suggest that group improvisation has the potential to equip classical musicians with greater leadership, communication skills and freedom. Furthermore, this practice could increase audience engagement by empowering audiences to participate in live creative and collaborative exchange. As research-performers, Pauliina and Lindsey invite audience discussion, and will share the embodied knowledge at the heart of their research, and provide ‘live’ flute and cello improvisations to illustrate their work.
Admission free but booking required