Skip to main content

Interpretationsforum - From Disorientation to Tonality*, Edward Williams [MA SP Music and Research]

Queer Theory and Enharmonic Music

In this Interpretationsforum Ed Williams will present their research into the connections between trans and queer phenomenology and the enharmonic experiments of Nicola Vicentino (1511-1576), including extracts of their own artistic research as well as a presentation of Vicentino‘s „Arciorgano“. Philosopher Paul B Preciado‘s comparison of the Copernican revolution of heliocentrism to today‘s multiple gender identities might be extended to Vicentino‘s arguably non-binary „enharmonic“ music, as a system that disorients by questioning tonal centers. Ed‘s research approaches these questions by focusing on the themes of disorientation and decomposition in reference to Sarah Ahmed, Emma Biga, Donna Haraway, and Jack Halberstam.

Drawing lines between pre-modern concepts of music with queer theory, they will present the disorienting capabilities of the arciorgano, reinforcing this with examples of the research they‘re developing through their „Disorientation Lab“ and „Decomposition Studies“ in collaboration with students from the HSM. Suggesting correlations between experimental music theory of pre-lndustrial Europe and the post-structuralist thinking from the post-industrial West today, they will attempt to illustrate the interdependent relations between Vicentino‘s sound world and queer theory, where both are tools for probing the norms established by the culture they grew from, namely, European ontologies of rigid, hierarchical classifications.

Ed Williams is a harpsichordist, guitarist and composer working within the interstices between early music practices, noise improvisation, experimental composition and trans*feminist thinking. Based between Marseille and Basel, they are currently working with organ, harpsichord, electric guitar and other instruments on open compositions that combine 16th-century microtonality and improvisation with contemporary performance practice. These collaborative processes are developed alongside research into queer phenomenology and trans*feminist notions of dis/orientation, dis/identification, and entanglement.
The term „decomposition“ summarizes the overall nature of these projects. They have released music on Editions Wandelweiser, Creative Sources, lnsub. Records, and Tombed Visions, and they play with the lnsub Meta Orchestra and Unorthodox Jukebox Orchestra. They hold ABRSM Grade 8 in Harpsichord and Classical Guitar, BMus in composition from the University of Edinburgh, MA in Open Creation from the HSM Basel, and Diplöme Cycle III in electroacoustic composition from the Marseille Conservatory. They also specialize in translating texts for new music, working with Maisan ONA, Artchipei, and others.

Das Projekt wird im Rahmen des MA SP Music and Research durchgeführt:


Datum und Zeit

28.5.2024, 19:00–20:30 Uhr iCal


Campus Musik-Akademie Basel, Akademie-Zimmer (Zi. 1-003)

Veranstaltet durch

Hochschule für Musik Basel, Klassik

Diese Seite teilen: