Collective Online Composition Project

Current circumstances urge artists to question themselves on the conditions of dialogue and forms of creation. The pandemic motivated us to seek new formats of artistic exchange, which not only would help to maintain the dialogue in these times, but which would potentially lead to even more integral collaborative practice in the future. With its project P2P ON AIR the Studio for New Music ensemble wants to challenge the problematic situation of divided creativity in which the composer creates a work, and the musicians simply (re)present it to the public in a more or less ideal form. The situation has emerged out of a division of labor between composers and performers, while not only artistic but also the hierarchical and social relations associated with it have increasingly become the object of criticism in recent artistic practice.

Being the leading contemporary music groups in Russia Studio for New Music has gained a rich experience of collaborative work. P2P ON AIR — is an attempt to critically assess this experience and to question the agencies of composer and performer. A key vision will be to develop artistic tools that foster co-creative practice as well as to unfold the process of artistic creation.

The project title P2P ON AIR (peer-to-peer) refers to the architecture of a computer network, built on the principle of decentralisation and equality of all participants. According to Wikipedia “Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants”. Similarly, there is no hierarchy of composers and performers in the Studio for New Music project - there are only musicians, computer technology, distance and the desire to create music together.
The guest participants feature Serge Vuille — performer, improviser and artistic director of Geneva-based ensemble Contrechamps, and Annette Schmucki — composer and performer living in the Swiss canton of Bern. Each of the guests will conduct three online sessions with the soloists of the Studio for New Music, and already at the first session, instead of the traditional finished score, Annette Schmucki and Serge Vuille will propose to the group some fragments, visual or audio impulses, or any other material that can potentially be developed as a composition material. The sessions will be held once a week. As a homework, each musician will be encouraged to reflect on the material, “appropriate” it and propose her or his own interpretation/version at the next session. This interpretation, in turn, will become new material and it will generate further interpretations by guest participants. The whole process can be seen as a slow-motion game of tennis, in which there are no rivals and fans, but only partners.

There will be six online sessions (three with each of the guests) and a general presentation of the project results, which will take place in the form of an online concert and discussion. The audience will be encouraged to join the discussion. All events will be streamed in real time on the official Youtube-channel of the Studio for new music and will be moderated.

P2P ON AIR has been supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia Moscow as part of Fast ForwART programme aimed at supporting new cultural exchange formats.

Sergej Tchirkov — project curator

Serge Vuille — performer, artistic director of ensemble Contrechamps
Annette Schmuki — composer, performer

Studio for New Music ensemble:
Maria Baranova, flute
Anna Borisova, oboe
Nikita Agafonov, clarinet
Valentin Puzankov, bassoon
Varvara Kosova, violin
Alexandra Kobrina, cello

Technical support and coordination — Nikolay Popov and Moscow Conservatory Centre for Electroacoustic Music (CEAMMC)

Project schedule Moscow Time Zone (UTC+3):

12 Jan, Tue — 15:00 — Annette Schmucki (session I)
15 Jan, Fr — 15:00 — Serge Vuille (session I)
18 Jan, Mon — 15:00 — Serge Vuille (session II)
19 Jan, Tue — 15:00 — Annette Schmucki (session II)
27 Jan, Wed — 15:00 — Annette Schmucki (session III)
29 Jan, Fr — 15:00 — Serge Vuille (session III)
03 Feb, Wed — 15:00 — Presentation of the outcomes, discussion: Annette Schmucki / Serge Vuille / Studio for New Music