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Music and the Irish Imagination

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Thierry Dubost
, 
Alexandra Slaby

Playing Irish music

Interactions between Music and Social Environment in the Context of a Session

Damien Verron

Résumé

This paper questions the problem of interactions in order to understand whether several environmental parameters that musicians face within the context of a session, might affect, consciously or not, their musical performance, and if these potential alterations appear to be effectively translated into music as “sound”. This question is tackled by comparing versions of two specific tunes, interpreted during two different sessions, thus implying different environments. While using this “comparative” approach, our purpose is to point out several significant variants that might confirm whether the environmental impact does materialise itself in the music strictly considered as sound.

Cet article veut interroger le problème des interactions afin de comprendre si les musiciens en session, face à une grande diversité de paramètres environnementaux, modifient leurs performances musicales, consciemment ou non, et si ces modifications se réalisent dans la matière sonore. La question est abordée à travers l’observation de deux versions de pièces spécifiques, rendues au cours de différentes sessions, donc de différents environnements. Par cette approche, que l’on peut dire « comparatiste », l’objectif est de mettre au jour un certain nombre de variantes suffisamment significatives pour permettre par la suite de confirmer si l’impact de l’environnement se matérialise d’un point de vue sonore.

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Extrait du texte

[…] the sound itself is differently filled or visited depending on places, hours, attending people, type of attention that is paid to it, and so on…1

During my research in North-Western Ireland, I observed that, after a session, participants tended to share their thoughts about the quality of the music they had played. These talks, which could actually be defined as specifically musical, proved to be inseparably linked to other factors relating to the nature of the social environment underlying the session, along with the influence that this environment might have had on that session. During a session, musicians appeared to be immersed (usually beyond their own will) in a social environment that was larger than the strictly musical sphere, and that could sometimes be responsible for implicit behaviours whose effects were but partly controllable.

De facto, this connection raises the hypothesis that the environment of a session should constitute a potentially active parameter in the eve...

Auteur

Damien Verron studied musicology at the université Jean-Monnet, Saint-Étienne, from which he received a PhD (in joint supervision with the Université de Montréal). The title of his dissertation was Des sessions musicales dans les régions de Leitrim et Sligo (Nord-Ouest irlandais) [Some relations between musical structures and social contexts in a repertoire of Irish music sessions]. He is a member of three research centres – CIEREC (Centre interdisciplinaire d’études et de recherche sur l’expression contemporaine), France, as well as OICRM (Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique), Canada, and MCAM (Musicologie comparée et anthropologie de la musique), université de Montréal. His research mainly questions the multiple links between musical structures and social contexts, using Jean Molino’s theory of symbolic forms.

© Presses universitaires de Caen, 2013

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

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