Peter Bjuhr Composer

Peter Bjuhr Composer

Concepts to a new piece

2009 March 03

Yesterday I was reading a book about pop art and I wanted to find a few concepts describing this movement to form a basis for a new work. The search led me instead to following description of postmodern art (on the wikipedia page):

The traits associated with the use of the term postmodern in art include bricolage, use of words prominently as the central artistic element, collage, simplification, appropriation, depiction of consumer or popular culture and Performance art.
Could this be a starting point? "Simplification" and "collage" are definitevly concepts I could use. But what about the rest?
Bricolage, pronounced /ˌbriːkoʊˈlɑːʒ/, /ˌbrɪkoʊˈlɑːʒ/ is a term used in several disciplines, among them the visual arts and literature, to refer to:
  • the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things which happen to be available;
  • a work created by such a process.
It is borrowed from the French word bricolage, from the verb bricoler – the core meaning in French being, "fiddle, tinker" and, by extension, "make creative and resourceful use of whatever materials are to hand (regardless of their original purpose)." Music Instrumental Bricolage in music would include the use of found objects as instruments:
  • Irish Spoons
  • Australian slap bass made from a tea chest
  • comb and wax paper for humming through
  • gumleaf humming
  • Largophone (made from a stick and bottle tops)
  • Trinidadian Steel drums (made from industrial storage drums)
  • African drums and thumb pianos made from recycled pots and pans.
  • American super instruments made from recorders and bicycle bells or metal rods and keys
Stylistic Bricolage is the inclusion of common musical devices with new uses. Shuker [1998 Popular Music: Key Concepts ] writes "Punk best emphasized such stylistic bricolage". Musical Bricolage flourishes in music of sub-cultures where:
  • experimentation is part of daily life (pioneers, immigrants, artistic communities),
  • access to resources is limited (such as in remote, discriminated or financially disconnected sub-cultures) which limits commercial influence (eg. acoustic performers, gypsies, ghetto music, hippie, folk or traditional musicians) and
  • there is a political or social drive to seek individuality (eg. Rap music, peace-drives, drummers circles)
Unlike other bricolage fields
  • intimate knowledge of resources is not necessary (many Punk musicians are not classically trained. Classical training discourages creativity in preference for accuracy).
  • careful observation and listening is not necessary, it is common in spontaneous music to welcome 'errors' and disharmony.
Like other bricolage fields, Bricolage music still values
  • trusting one's ideas
  • self-correcting structures (targeted audiences, even if limited)
Visual Art In art, bricolage is a technique where works are constructed from various materials available or on hand, and is seen as a characteristic of postmodern works. These materials may be mass-produced or "junk". See also: Merz, polystylism, collage. Bricolage can also be applied to theatrical form of improvisation. More commonly known as Improv. The idea of using one's environment and materials which are at hand is the main goal in Improv. The environment is the stage and the materials are often pantomimed. The use of the stage and the imaginary materials are all made up on the spot so the materials which are at hand ar actually things that the players know from past experiences. (i.e. an improvisation of ordering fast food: One player would start with the common phrase "How May I help You").
This I think can be useful too.
Appropriation (art)
Composition with Fruit, Guitar and Glass. 1912. Pablo Picasso.
To appropriate something involves taking possession of it. In the visual arts, the term appropriation often refers to the use of borrowed elements in the creation of new work. The borrowed elements may include images, forms or styles from art history or from popular culture, or materials and techniques from non-art contexts. Since the 1980s the term has also referred more specifically to quoting the work of another artist to create a new work. The new work does not actually alter the original per se; the new work uses the original to create a new work. In most cases the original remains accessible as the original, without change.
This is perfect! Remaining are then "use of words prominently as the central artistic element", "depiction of consumer or popular culture" and "Performance art". Let´s see about that...

Peter Bjuhr

Peter Bjuhr Composer

Here I publish information of the music I've written. I also blog about my projects and thoughts about music in general.

I am a contemporary classical composer and compose music for classical musicians, but as you can see from my worklist I've also done other things - including live electronics, electroacoustic music (eam) and music for other types of ensembles (e.g. a jazz trio).

My works have been performed globally, including Europe, Asia and North America.

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