Audience Perception in Experiential Embodied Music Theatre: A Practice-based Case Study

Efthymiou, Litha and Scheuregger, Martin (2021) Audience Perception in Experiential Embodied Music Theatre: A Practice-based Case Study. Act: Zeitschrift für Musik & Performance, 10 . ISSN 2191-253X

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Audience Perception in Experiential Embodied Music Theatre: A Practice-based Case Study
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A common feature of contemporary music theatre is that it is situated across various disciplinary boundaries, often leading to a complex layering of music with other artistic forms, such as theatre, text, film, and movement (Bonshek, 2006; Rebstock & Roesner, 2013; Lehmann, 2006). In some cases, such interdisciplinarity has led creators to explore spaces beyond traditional theatrical settings, such that performance location becomes an important and intrinsic feature of a work’s multimodal fabric. A recent example of such work—I Only Know I Am (2019), composed by the authors—provides a case study here in which ideas of experientialism are explored with reference to a variety of extant approaches to theatre and music theatre. The authors propose understanding this work as ‘experiential embodied music theatre’, synthesising aspects of a variety of theatrical modes.

First, we consider the work’s use of space, place and history in the context of environmental and site-specific theatre in order to understand the means by which it attempts to engage the audience. Taking this idea further, we consider the sonic place that is generated through the architecture of the work’s form, supported by the narrative structure and ideas of silencing and stasis. From here, we consider the genre of immersive theatre, and draw a connection between this theatre practice, embodiment in music theatre, and embodied music cognition, so that we can understand the ways in which audience members may embody the music whilst maintaining a traditional audience-performer relationship. This journey from compositional conception, to context and examples, and through to audience perception outlines a reading of this work as experiential embodied music theatre from a variety of perspectives.

Keywords:Music Theatre, Contemporary Music, Composition, Embodiment, Perception
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W300 Music
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
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ID Code:49619
Deposited On:20 Jun 2022 09:52

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