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Performance as Research

Practice as Research is a vital element of the research community at Bangor, and draws together musicological, theoretical and performance-based knowledge into a cohesive and rigorous discipline. Led by Richard Craig, the department addresses - but is not limited to - the following themes of contemporary music practice:

  • A reappraisal of the composer and performer paradigm in the context of contemporary music practice
  • Issues of notation and performer response to graphic, or parametric scores, with reference to historical practices of notation
  • The music industry and how the individual artist mediates the technological, economical and political influences of contemporary society
  • The use of or resistance towards the integration of technology in performance practice.
  • The concept of the luthier and its historical relations to current performer/composer practice
  • Reflection and reframing of important compositions from the 20th and 21st century, and the input or influence of the performer today upon these works
  • Collaboration as a practice between composer and performer

The established Bangor INTER/actions festival has attracted numerous composers, researchers and experimental performers to Wales, and this is consolidated by Bangor’s participation in the electronic music performance scene in the UK. We are also fortunate to regularly host visiting composers, soloists and ensembles, who contribute to our research by collaborating with resident performers and composers on the creation of new works and ground-breaking presentations of existing repertoire. Our documentation of practice as research follows contemporary currents, with digital media, recordings, and online journals being an important part of engaging with the research community elsewhere. Please see individual staff profiles for further information regarding CD and online media.

The impact of research of the Performance Department is not limited to Bangor University, and in 2015, alongside members of staff from Bangor University, Goldsmiths University and IRCAM established the ESTALAGEM residency, Madeira, Portugal. The aim of the residency is to bring expert practitioners and practising sound artists, composers and performers from varied backgrounds from around the world together to create and experience new work in a supportive and stimulating environment. Following on from this, Richard Craig maintains a busy schedule of performances and talks regarding the research at Bangor, as well as generating new works in collaboration with composers and other artists.

We are also active in similar projects within European Artistic Research community and engaged with creative networks outside of the UK. Richard Craig has developed partnerships with researchers the Orpheus Institute Belgium, Sibelius Academy Helsinki, Harvard University as well as in the UK, such as the RNCM, Goldsmiths University and Huddersfield University (Honorary Research Fellow).

Activities of the performance department:

In the past months, Richard performed and discussed his work in UK, USA, Madeira and Belgium and published texts on contemporary performance practice. You can find out more about Richard's forthcoming and recent activities below.


17 February 2017 CD release with the Metier label. World premiere recordings of music by Richard Barrett, John Croft, Brice Pauset, Esaias Jaernegard and Fabrice Fitch
17 February 2017 A talk at London’s Trinity Laban School, discussing the question of impact and research
2 February 2017   Performance with the RTE orchestra Ireland in the premiere of Ann Cleare’s new work for contrabass flute and contrabass clarinet
November 2016 Participating in a two-day residency at the University of Huddersfield discussing his research and presenting new work
16 November 2016  Performance at the SOUND festival Aberdeen with soprano Juliet Fraser.The world premiere of a new work for voice, flute and electronics by Patricia Alessandrini, and the UK premiere of Gérard Pape’s Two Electro-Acoustic Songs for flute, voice and tape.
16 October 2016  Performances and taking part in collaborations in Boston/New York with composer and Harvard lecturer Steve Takasugi, and performances in New York as part of Patricia Alessandrini’s portrait concert in Spectrum, New York
16 September 2016 SMASH ensemble. Richard Craig premiered new repertoire to include Lazkano and Popov in Perm, Russia
June 2016 Paper by Richard Craig – emoi et moi – a performers perspective of advanced contemporary performance practice. Due for online publication late 2016-
April 2016 Richard Craig performed with Octandre Ensemble – London. Concert recorded for a future BBC broadcast.
February 2016 Richard Craig gave a Masterclass and Concert with the ACMG, Salford University, Manchester
November 2015 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, England Richard Craig performed with Ensemble Grizzana performs a composer portrait of Jürg Frey and CD lauch. Recorded for BBC radio.
November 2015 DARE – The Dark Precursor.  Richard Craig discussed his work with Ferneyhough’s Unity Capsule at the international conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research, Orpheus Instituut, Belgium. Paper and performance.
October 2015 Richard Craig gave Concerts & Masterclasses in the USA – Laurence University, Wisconsin
January 2015  ESTALAGEM New music and Eletronics course – Centro John Dos Passos/Chapel of Saint Sebastian, Madeira