Martijn Tellinga

Martijn Tellinga (The Netherlands, 1974) is an artist, composer and occasional performer. His practice fuses elements of concert, installation and performance art. Drawn from a reduced formalist-seeming vocabulary, his work centers on the exploration of sound & listening to express ideas of space, place and process: their reciprocal production, contextual intertwining, and potential as a perceptual, performative and social medium. Much of his work is score-based and includes a wide variety of conceptual actions and chance operations, probing the emergent field between intended and accidental occurrences.

In recent years he has been producing performance installations explorative of extreme duration, sound installation work investigating the practice of resonance tuning, and documentary pieces utilising principles of acoustic measurement and intervention style negotiations of site. These works have increasingly aligned his output with emerging propositions for an evolved, postmedia music practice capable of addressing an expanded field of materials, concepts and symbolic relationships outside the conventional realms of music. His current work questions how musicality and musical form can be rethought through installation. With his research ‘Scoring Space: An Inquiry into Musically Driven Installation Practice’, he is a funded Fiosraigh PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media in Dublin, Ireland.

He received a Master’s degree in Sonology and multiple Stipendiums for Established Artists from the Mondriaan Fund. He presents worldwide, lectures and works in residence. The past 3 years, he has articulated his artistic research through the development of courses focussing on the spatial, processual and environmental modalities of sound informed practices. This led to a visiting professorship at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and ArtEZ Academy in Arnhem, and intensive courses at the Modern Academy in Hong Kong and Museo Ex Teresa Arte Actual in Mexico City.

He is one of the curator producers of the long running series DNK-Amsterdam. With DNK Ensemble he interprets and re-enacts seminal pieces on the edge of experimental music, performance art and installation, from the likes of Antoine Beuger, Cornelius Cardew, David Dunn, Dick Raaijmakers, Anthony McCall, David Tudor.

Research Project

Title: ‘Scoring Space: An Inquiry into Musically Driven Installation Practice’.

Supervisors: Conor McGarrigle, Tim Stott and Noel Fitzpatrick

Keywords: Expanded Practice; Experimental Music; Extended Music Composition; Scoring; Sound Art; Interdisciplinary; 

Abstract: Sound has arrived as a subject of contemporary art. The past twenty five years increasingly, artists have explored sound for its sculptural, evocative and phenomenological capacities. Their work  however —Sound Art—, still  tends to confirm sound as an absolute medium, self-referential and separated from matters of signification and representation that are central to the discourse of Contemporary Art. One way for sound art to enter into this critical dialogue, would be to recontextualise and reconceptualise music’s historical modes of aesthetic organisation, its materials and working principles, to evolve into a critical post-medium discipline. A discipline capable of addressing an expanded field of materials, ideas and relationships through an evolved notion of music and its production.

The project therefor departs at the idea that music is a creative modus operandi aimed at the expression of ideas and thought processes through compositional and performative arrangement before it is the artistic discipline dealing exclusively with sound. Moving beyond the sonic essentialism of today’s prevalent ‘sound installation’, this PhD will investigate how notions of musical form and musicality are able to translate to installation practice —rethinking the terms from within that context— and how this process could inform creative strategies that propagate music composition and performance as an expanded contemporary discipline. The research aims to contribute to evolving criteria by which to engage with artistic spatial practices and their discourses, and to further encourage a critical, contemporary reframing of how to develop and interact with established music history.

A key methodological angle to be explored throughout this research is the potential of scoring in regards the raised questions. The notion of what scoring entails has opened up drastically since the 1960s, producing a rich lexicon of non-standard vocabularies and approaches that have expanded musical language and manifestation as such, through amplified hermeneutic processes that were hitherto largely absent in traditional music notation. This has articulated the score as a research situation in itself, a site where the musical consideration of an extended variety of materials and forms —some far beyond the traditional realm of music— is conceptualised and generated through instruction, suggestion, translation and interpretation. In its current form, the experimental score is utterly intermedial yet rooted in a musical sense of method, process, reading and delivery, or in the the question what that musical sense actually entails. The methodological approach in this project will be developed around transposing the experimental yet systematic nature of the contemporary score into a emergent creative and discursive framework to ask questions, probe knowledge and produce propositions.

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