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Karin Hellqvist: Transforming with the Artistic Palette

Karin Hellqvist is standing in front of an old wood door holding her violin.

The violin player Karin Hellqvist says: "The plethora of traits forming a person's musical identity. I sometimes imagine as an artist's palette".

Field of study: Artistic Research (Violin)

Through this project Hellqvist expands her practice as a performer of contemporary Western art music. By aiming to share the imaginative as well as evaluative processes of composition, new ways of co-creating music is developed together with five artists-composers, as well as in compositions of her own. Along the journey, the concept of the Artistic Palette emerges, a concept comprising the skills and abilities Hellqvist uses in creative collaborative work – abilities connected to her agency and creativity. How is her Artistic Palette active in creative work, and what does it mean to think with the Artistic Palette?

The artistic methods of the project are sprung from the specific forms of collaborative composition it comprises – improvisation, developing technological skills to create musical materials, accessing embodied performance materials and developing cyclical patterns of work. As Hellqvist’s main method of research, auto-ethnographic writing has been closely intertwined with the artistic processes and several publications now lay the foundation for the final reflection.

The project aims to contribute with knowledge about artistic agency and creative collaborative work through the enrichment of practical approaches, as well as to problematize the artistic and social dimensions that are expected to emerge while unleashing an empowered performer's role. The project also aims to illuminate how this new role can benefit the work, process and ecology of the composer-performer relation, thus fuelling the ongoing process of opening up hierarchies and structures within the classical music milieu. In this way, it is hoped that it will provide a link in the current discourse and exploration of performer identity taking place within academia as well as in the wider field of music-making.

Theoretical key influences are musicologist Alan Taylor’s typology of shared work, Lydia Goehr’s concept of Werktreue, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s thinking on embodied knowledge as well as solastalgia, environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht’s neologism for eco-anxiety.

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Published: Aug 14, 2018 — Last updated: Feb 9, 2024