ResearchWorks: Curational Composing

  • 5pm
Cage’s 1967 Musicircus at the University of Illinois


About this event:

Platform / Discussion | Research | ResearchWorks
Event type:
Free | Online

Event information

“Curators” appear in history when faith in traditional models of value declines precipitously and everything appears up for grabs. This was the case for early modern science displacing Biblical law by establishing new credentials for universal truths; for the gallery arts in transitioning from the ‘purely visual’ mediums of painting and sculpture; and more recently for music with the collapse of ‘classical’ privilege and the musical work concept. Approached through the late work of John Cage, and building on the work of colleagues in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, in this talk Ed McKeon proposes Curatorial Composing as an immanent mode of producing public encounters that stage the issue of authority without dependence on any external frame, foundational logic, theory, or law.


Ed McKeon is a musician who neither performs nor composes. Working with musicians and artists at the points where music indisciplines others - whether theatre, installation, or performance - he has collaborated with artists from Pauline Oliveros to Heiner Goebbels, Elliott Sharp to Jennifer Walshe, and Kuljit Bhamra to Brian Eno. He has presented BBC Radio 3’s flagship new music programme, Hear and Now; was artistic director of the British Composer Awards; and continues as a Trustee of the Hinrichsen Foundation, and Vice Chair of the British section of the International Society of Contemporary Music. He leads an MA programme at Goldsmiths, University of London on Music Management. His book on Heiner Goebbels and Curatorial Composing After Cage was published by Cambridge University Press in late 2022, building on his AHRC-funded doctoral research on musicality and the curatorial.

What is ResearchWorks?

Guildhall School’s ResearchWorks is a programme of events centred around the School’s research activity, bringing together staff, students and guests of international standing. We run regular events throughout the term intended to share the innovative research findings of the School and its guests with students, staff and the public.