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PhD defence Winnie Huang

Sonic Silhouettes Musical Movement
Investigating the Musical-Gestural Perspective

Artistic presentation and defence of the PhD research ‘Sonic Silhouettes Musical Movement’, conducted by Winnie Huang between 2018 and 2022 through the docARTES programme (Orpheus Institute), the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp (AP Hogeschool) - within the research group CREATIE-, and ARIA (UAntwerp).

Promotors: Ine Vanoeveren (promotor Conservatoire) and Peter Reynaert (promotor UAntwerp)

10:30 - 11:30


11:45 - 12:30

with Jury: Arthur Cools (chair of the jury), Ine Vanoeveren (supervisor), Peter Reynaert (supervisor), Joost Vanmaele (IPC member), Juliet Fraser (external jury member), Pia Palme (external jury member)


In the contemporary music world of the performing arts, an increasing number of musical-gestural works are being composed and performed. The rise of these pieces, the curiosity in creating them by composers, and the growing demand for these types of performers necessitate investigation from an artistic researcher’s perspective, in the hope of providing insight and agency for future creators, artists, and academics in this field. Through a methodical investigation on various case studies, different in the degree of composer/performer collaboration, Sonic Silhouettes Musical Movement questions the identity and role of the musical-gestural artistic researcher at all the varying degrees of participation during the process of collaboration, composition and performance.

This research aims to examine how musical-gestural pieces are learned and performed through an exploration on the various skill sets, performance practice methods, notational issues, and the physical states a performer adopts, and effectively provide additional knowledge towards an evolving group of artists and the spectrum of creatives around and within.

Finally, this research hopes to explore how the performer inhabits the artistic body in the creation/composition process and during the performance, the presentness; understanding the artistic body’s physical presence, self-awareness, and sensorial interactions while in rehearsal/performance, since dramatic movements seemingly provide some of the strongest contributors for human expression, intention, and focus. Through proactive embodied research, the emergence of new pathways, and the collaborative and transmissive experiences, this critical reflection showcases the expanding nature and collective knowledge gained from the musical-gestural perspective for all participants.