Thinktanks 2021

Overview of IPEM's Think Tanks 2021


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Nadav Katan | Towards Principles of Embodied Musical Gestalt

Friday February 12th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

Informed Phrasingis an artistic, doctoral research project that explores the analysis-practice relationship as an artistic mode of interaction. Central in my approach to the analysis-practice relationship is designing the analytical orientation according to fundamental objectives of musical performance. Thus, instead of 'importing' to performance a set of pre-established analytical conceptions (that, in many cases, were formulated based on musical symbols, rather than on actual sounds), I advocate a 'performatively informed' analytical approach in which the performer collects analytical components that specifically address her/his performative objectives and transforms these to operate in a performative-interactive process and setting (at the instrument and through performance).

Within this framework, conceiving of 'phrasing' as "...the joining of notes into phrases and the separation of these phrases from each other" (Rothstein, 1989) naturally leads to the consideration of Temporal Gestalt Psychology. However, the fundamental Gestalt grouping principles are formulated as rules of disembodied perceptual organization, and from the listener's perspective. Yet, drawing on IPEM publications, as well as on my personal experimentations, the performer's perceptual organization is significantly conditioned by the physical mechanisms that are entailed in the act of sound production. Accordingly, bringing the Gestalt grouping principle up-to-date, in this respect, is a crucial objective of my research project.

In this presentation I will briefly present my research project and share my intuitions towards a set of principles of 'embodied musical Gestalten' and call for interdisciplinary collaborations, aspiring to transform these intuitions into knowledge.

Nadav Katan is an Israeli pianist and artistic researcher.

Nadav has completed his Bachelor's degree in piano performance at the Buchman-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv University in 2015, in the class of Prof. Asaf Zohar, and his Master's degree in piano performance at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in 2017, in the class of Prof. Naum Grubert and Prof. Jan Wijn.

Currently, Nadav is an artistic researcher at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, conducting an artistic Ph.D. on the 'analysis-practice relationship' in collaboration with Antwerp University, the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, Orpheus Institute in Ghent, and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Henk Jacobs | Ik hoor u graag

Friday January 15th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

‘Ik hoor u graag’ is the title of my PhD trajectory and it is about product binding that we have with some pieces of music.
My name is Henk Jacobs, I was born in 1953 and just started a PhD program. I am an industrial engineer by profession and as such have worked in various positions at various companies. But my whole life I have been into music. Not only have I played the saxophone for many years, but I am driven by the question: ‘I wanted to learn at all costs what a favourite piece of music was 'in itself', by what essential feature it was to be distinguished from the community of pieces. Has it a ‘genius of its own’ or not? To deepen my knowledge of this issue, I started studying Musicology at Utrecht University. After the bachelor, the study continued at the University of Amsterdam. The master in cognitive musicology was completed a few months ago. By now I have found something of the beginning of an answer to my question, but there is still a long way to go. A path as a PhD trajectory.
The subject of the PhD is the product binding that we have with some pieces of music. They are the favourites you love to hear. Product binding is a marketing term and concerns the affective relationship we have with some products. Affect is not the same as either emotions or desires. Affect is closely tied to what we often describe as the feeling of life. Some things, such as music, inflect affect and gives colour to our experiences. With these things we have affective relations. They give you a ‘feelgood feeling’, you feel at ease, they provide psychological comfort, they bring a sense of satisfaction. What I have found so far is that the ‘feelgood feeling’ someone has with a piece of music is mainly determined by experiencing one or more 'musical moments'. The only description I could find of the musical moment is: “If our brain flits over any part of the music, we are captured by it, and must play it forth to a point of rest. So we constantly have a sense of being gripped, even unwillingly, by the tune. This is The Musical Moment”, said Elizabeth Margulis.
The importance of the musical moment for product binding is mainly based on considerations. My exploratory master's research supports these considerations. To my knowledge, a large-scale investigation has never taken place. This brings us to the first study, an online survey to the importance of the Musical Moment. The second study is a laboratory study in which the affective and emotion response over time is measured to self chosen favourite music. These data are evaluated (Kano model, marketing) with the test subjects to gain insight into their preferred musical qualities (auditory schemata). The third study, entitled affective evaluation, focuses on the interaction between cold and hot cognition (analogous to Broekx's Muziek. Ratio en Affect) at the lowest level of consciousness.
But first, I will be doing a literature study in the coming year. Because I am at the beginning of a process, I do not yet have detailed plans of action. I would like to share my ideas and am open to all critical questions, comments, and suggestions that I can take advantage of.

Lousin Moumdjian & Mattia Rosso | The continued story line of auditory-motor coupling in neurological rehabilitation of multiple sclerosis and beyond.

Friday January 29th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

The use of auditory stimuli, such as music or metronomes have properties that are beneficial for neurological rehabilitation purposes. In our previous work, specific to the use of auditory stimuli during walking, we hypothesised that the resulting interaction of the so-called auditory-motor coupling termed entrainment influences a person’s abilities for walking, and the results were presented in the form of my PhD.
Naturally, the story did not end there, as solving certain questions resulted in asking many many others. To tackle those questions that intrigued me the most, a few experiments were designed. During this think tank, I aim to shed a light on these different experiments that I am working on together with the core team of Mattia, Bart and Edith, to answer the underlying objectives per experiment.
This introduction will follow by zooming in on one of the two methodological solutions that we have developed in order to realise the studies mentioned above. That is the use of EEG, to compute a component of a neural outcome measure of auditory-motor coupling(/entrainment), which would optimally be complement its behavioural counterparts. For the former, Mattia will further zoom into the computational of this component in the context of a validity study we are now engaged in using his database. This outcome is the key link of combining the behavioural approach I undertake with neurophysiological approaches.
On a side note, the second methodological salutation was to integration of the EEG and the D-jogger, however, this part is out of the scope of the current think.


Lousin Moumdjian & Marc Leman | Embodied learning in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis using melodic, sound and visual real-time feedback: a clinical and a predictive viewpoint.

Friday February 19th at 14.00, online IPEM UGent

Given the prevalence of motor and cognitive functions in persons with multiple sclerosis and that these functions can be either maintained or improved, we proposed that the theoretical framework of embodied theory could bridge the niche in current rehabilitation of these symptoms. Consequently, we developed an environment – the augmented movement platform for embodied learning (AMPEL) - in order to apply an experimental paradigm, to test our notion of embodiment in the context of rehabilitation in PwMS. We thereby aimed to investigate embodied learning on AMPEL, with a task consisting of learning a cognitive sequence while performing it through bodily movement under three feedback conditions compared to healthy controls. Within the context of embodied learning, we also aimed to investigate if balance and information processing speed are factors which effected the motor and cognitive performances. We hypothesised, that will find a superior cognitive performance in healthy controls as compared to PwMS, given the prevalence of the cognitive and motor impairments in the MS population. Nevertheless, we also assumed that PwMS would be able to learn the cognitive sequence within this embodied task, firstly because of their intactencoding and storage capacity, and secondly due to the embodied context, as a result of the bidirectional complementary interaction of the motor and cognitive systems. Furthermore, we explored if learning can be predicted during the learning process in our participants, given factors such as their age, balance and information processing speed.