Flesh and wood: exploring body, time and space in guitar performance.

The tacit or even embodied knowledge is a knowledge we experience trough our own body even though in our mind this is not clearly represented.
The tacit knowledge triangle (body-mind-experience) leads to a full rethinking of the instrumental practice opening up the Space – the sphere of action of the player – and the Time – the hic et nunc –  of the guitar performance.
How to develop the “implicit or tacit” knowledge? Further on: how to explore it? How to express it?

This research will be articulated in three phases

Phase I – State of the arts
Providing a key repertoire
Starting from the XXth Century compositions, a key repertoire where the use of percussions, harmonics and rhythmical body help coexists and/or alternates with traditional sound producing techniques will be approached.
The guideline will be the more and more body involvement.
Providing theoretical background
Literature and researches concerning embodied knowledge and music.

Phase II - Exploration

I will develop a path of interaction between music text and the body.
Since the creation, experience and perception of a performance is always also a bodily activity that happens in time and space, I will take as a reference two performing arts involving the body as a whole: the dance and theater.
Dance: body-space-time-visual projection-reception
Dance is the performing heart whose use of the body is the most evident. Here the interconnections existing between physical and mental processes, and their use for exploring time and space, call back the notion of embodied knowledge.
Theatre: body-space-time-visual and sound projection [face]-reception
Actors have a performance-derived knowledge which is part of their bodily attitude towards the space and the time.

Through the help of professional actors and dancers, I will look how to apply the non-verbal communication processes of performance arts to guitar performance.
In this phase, I will collaborate with the Drama department of RITs in Brussels and the research group CORPoREAL in Antwerp.
My aim is two-pronged: firstly, I will develop these embodied knwoledges and incorporate them into the repertoire preparation; secondly, I will use those means experienced as methodological tools for and the performance phase.

Phase III – Creation
A new performance
On the basis of what came to light in the first and second phases, I will conceive a performance/show in which the interdependence between embodied knowledge and music, between flesh and wood, is finally brought on scene.
On one hand, this will be used as a method of preparation of a performance in order to clarify the embodied knowledge to the musician. On the other hand, by incorporating the results of the research, it will be possible to improve the communication process.

Throughout my research path, I will also collaborate with a composer for the production of an original composition for guitar – to be included in the final show/performance – in which the fulfillment of the “music-embideid knowledge” interaction would be both the inspiration and the object of the composition itself.