— Cultural Sources of Newness

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Tag "dissonance"

“Things can work even when they don’t fit together” and “Misunderstanding can contribute to coordination”—these were the first two insights that David Stark shared with us at the workshop that we organized at the WZB June 26-28 in preparation of the book with the working title “Valorizing dissonance. Cultural perspectives on newness.” Where did we—a group of 17 academics from different parts of Europe and North America—go from there? One part of our agenda was to get from dissonance to newness, a concept that was foreign to many of our guests.

Beginning two days of discussions

Beginning two days of discussions

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One of the things that have been occupying me these past days is how to explain “cultural sources of newness.” The three reviewers of our book proposal with the working title “Valorizing Dissonance: Cultural Perspectives on Newness were very encouraging because they consider the area of research we are addressing to be “lively and emerging.” However, they were concerned that the cultural angle might be outmoded and that the concept of newness appears awkward or “baggy”. The concert I went to this evening, after sending off a response to the publisher this afternoon, brought the topic into focus. At Soundscape East Asia three ensembles with musicians and instruments from Europe, East Asia, South and North America performed at the Villa Elisabeth,  a somewhat dilapidated neo-classical hall in Berlin-Mitte. Their ambition was “to explore the field of tensions between artistic innovation and musical tradition, to invite intra- and intercultural dialogues, to open ears and to tempt into aural adventures.” (program notes Carmen Gräf; translation ABA)

 

AsianArt Ensemble setting up in Villa Elisabeth, photo ABA

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