Dialogues on Music: The Animated Musician

Dialogues on Music: Playing music and other serious matters

In 2023, the lectorate introduces a series of three evenings of thematic dialogue under the name Playing music and other serious matters.

Though we regularly use the word 'play' in connection to music, our association is not related to the playing of a child or an animal or to playing a ball game. Even less would ‘diverting lightness’ - the roots of play - be the first characterization that comes to mind. Playing a concert is a serious matter where your reputation, status and market value are at stake. During each of the three evenings, two invited speakers will engage in a thematic dialogue, approaching the overarching theme from three different perspectives.

6 April
The Animated Musician
Bobby Mitchell - prof. Hans Van Dyck
Moderated by Johannes Boer

What does a playing bumblebee have to do with a musician? There are many elements in the playing of animals that resemble the actions of a performer and vice versa. This common nature of expression, strategy and creative shaping of play is the subject of this dialogue.

Play exists, even beyond the player. Not the musician is the subject but (in our case) the music, which is bound to rules. But these rules are not identical with the music - unless the music is about rules - they serve just like the musician does, the collective artistic experience of the performance. Similar to games or child play these performances have boundaries in time and space, which help to determine the nature of play. The major determinator in this playing is the musician, who can be led by inspiration to transcend all temporal, spatial, technical and other limiting boundaries into a level of performance that is collectively experienced as deeply meaningful.

Hans Van Dyck is a biologist. As a child, he was already fascinated by small and large animals. He obtained his PhD at the University of Antwerp in 1997 with his thesis on behavioural patterns in butterflies. Since 2004, as Professor of Behavioural Ecology and Nature Conservation, he has led his own research group at the Earth & Life Institute of UCLouvain (Louvainla- Neuve). His research focuses on the winners and losers among animals in human-focused landscapes, with butterflies playing a central role. But Van Dyck also likes to address the general public, writing pieces for newspapers and magazines, holding public lectures and speaking for radio and television.

Bobby Mitchell is an American pianist whose interests are embedded in the here and now of music as performance art, as well as the more standard classical repertory of centuries past. A frequent performer of new and rarely heard works, his interests lie mainly with the contemporary music canon and combining these works with the standard repertoire in an illuminating fashion. An instrumentalist who is not afraid to cross the traditional boundaries of programming and performance practice, he is active as a solo and collaborative concert pianist on modern and historical instruments and is also experienced in the fields of improvisation, composition, and conducting.



6 april 2023 19.00 - 21:30


Studio 2, Amare