Paul Craenen defended his dissertation Gecomponeerde uitvoerders: het musicerende lichaam vanuit compositorisch perspectief on Tuesday 29 March 2011 at 16.15.
Craenen’s research started with a fascination with the music of German composer Helmut Lachenmann. According to Craenen, ‘This is music in which a change of perspective takes place. It is not so much the resulting sound in itself that is important here but rather the conditions in which it develops. The physical movement towards the instrument, the effort that is made and the sorts of techniques that are used are also part of the musical message.’ Craenen wants to give this ‘total approach’ a compositional meaning not just by putting the spotlight on the sonorous product but on the musical process as a whole.
The result is a kind of ‘sonorous choreography’, as he demonstrated with his performance with PVC tubes on Monday 28 March. 'I have built a kind of installation of PVC tubes combined with microphones that cause feedback. We can manipulate the sound by moving the tubes in relation to the microphones and speakers. We have made a musical construction that becomes a kind of choreography: we and the tubes are moving.’ Craenen also plays with the identities of the performers: one minute they are acting as musicians, the next they seem more like technicians and the next again they are dancers. ‘Exploring the boundaries is at the forefront of my artistic practice.’