36 Pages

4 Experimentalism and Multimedia

In music the idea of experiment means many different, often contradictory, things: apart from the adoption of the scientific term as, for instance, in computer and electronic music, it has been employed to describe 'an act the outcome of which is unknown'. Mauricio Kagel's approach to experimentalism is illustrated by his interest in breaching the divide between music and the visual arts. The connection between experimentalism and multimedia established mostly concerns the European avant-gardist sense of experiment, namely the overcoming of boundaries by 'experimenting' with new techniques and artistic means in a quite literal sense. A different sense of experimentalism is practised in Music for renaissance instruments, one that is more indebted to the avant-garde notion of expansion of material, while at the same time questioning this notion. The images are similarly anti-illusionist: the non-narrative character of the theatre piece is developed further through film, for instance by suspending the laws of chronological and spatial continuity.