”Lethe” is a research project by researchers Anna Lindal, Andreas Hiroui Larsson and Johan Jutterström at the Department of Opera.
Using the river Lethe as a metaphorical starting point, we research forgetfulness as method and guiding principle for an artistic process. Intertwining practice and reflection, Lethe aims at an innovative use of forgetfulness with artistic examples and theoretical arguments. In what way will forgetfulness impact the work of an individual musician and a music ensemble?
Aim and research questions
Forgetfulness is inherently inscribed in every performance practice. As soon as a performance, or concert, is over all that remains are the fading memories. Focusing on the fading, rather than on the memories themselves, is our tool to open up artistic practices for something unexpected.
- Can forgetfulness or memory help us circumvent norms and conventions in western art music that we feel are standing in our way?
- Had we the chance, what would we be willing to forget?
- Would we want to remember things forgotten?
Research implementation and anticipated impact
At the beginning of the project the research group, collectively in improvisation, created a piece of music that during the three-year period is being played again and again. We are not allowed to listen to the piece or discuss it with each other until the end of the project. Continuously repeating the piece hopefully allows for forgetfulness to be the driving force behind the piece development.
We are also collaborating with invited colleagues throughout the research project to experiment on forgetfulness as artistic method from other perspectives and in such ways that makes it possible for us to discuss – in contrast to the collective improvisation that we are not allowed to discuss.
Jennfier Torrence, Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, Karl Dunér
The project is financed by the Swedish Research Council.