Codarts Rotterdam

A Celebration of Artistic Research in World Music

13:00 - 16:00
WMDC, Rotterdam
Codarts ResearchWorld Music

A Celebration of Artistic Research in World Music

An audio-visual event with live music, curated by Rachel Beckles Willson, Professor of Intercultural Performing Arts.

Join us for an inspiring journey into the world of artistic research in world music! 

We cordially invite you to ‘A Celebration of Artistic Research in World Music’, organised by Professor Rachel Beckles Willson for Codarts Research on Friday, February 9 2024, from 13:00-16:00. This special audiovisual event features six of Codarts’ researchers who share their work on intercultural traditions - from Argentina and India to West Asia - and demonstrate how this is connected to their musical practices.    
‘A Celebration of Artistic Research in World Music’ is more than an exploration - it's a showcase of the vibrant tapestry of artistic research within the Codarts community! 
Why this event?  
The idea is to celebrate the creativity and research in world music at Codarts, offering a behind-the-scenes look into the work of our diverse international team.  
Research in world music serves as a bridge to a more intercultural, plural society. It allows us to gain deeper insight into the meaning and context behind the music and cultures we work with. Therefore, this event seeks to share the recent publications from our Codarts researchers and demonstrate how this research directly influences their musical practices. 
What to expect?  
Anticipate a dynamic programme where our six researchers share their work and engage in a dialogue with each other, also demonstrating with music and visuals. The joy of research for them lies in sharing ideas and establishing connections across diverse traditions.  
Their conversations delve into methods and approaches, offering an enriching experience as they talk about processes and methods and learn together. This collective research journey illustrates how intercultural exchange and learning happen in discussion and how sharing diverse traditions brings us closer together. 
Who is it for?
We welcome all interested Codarts students and staff, but certainly also guests from outside Codarts who are interested in the topic.
Master's students can earn credits by attending and writing a short report. All fellow music researchers are also cordially invited.
What to learn?
The researchers have crafted three engaging topics for discussion, each a glimpse into the richness of their collective exploration.

 Formal programme (@WMDC Grounds)

  • 13:00 - 13:45: “The Past in Our Playing: How is history alive in our ears and hands?” 

Rachel Beckles Willson and Stephen Meyer will share experiences of artistic research in West Asian and Argentinian traditions, exploring how history is infused in their musical performances.  
Rachel will share her unique perspective on the oud, an instrument associated primarily with West Asia, and the significance of the oud’s cultural context, particularly as a woman playing it. Stephen, who specialises in the Argentinian violin, will explore the evolution of sounds in historical recordings and how they influence his present-day musical approach.  
Through live demonstrations and conversations, Rachel and Stephen will illuminate the profound connection between their music and the historical narratives embedded in their instruments. 

  • 13:45 - 14:30: “The Time Passing as We Play: How do we live musical temporalities?"

In music, numerous methods are available for studying notes, harmony, and rhythm, but understanding how time unfolds remains a nuanced challenge. Juliano Abramovay and Ned McGowan explore musical temporalities in West Asia and India. Their focus lies in the theoretical exploration and development of tools for students to grasp the temporal nuances in various musical traditions.

  • 14:30 - 14:45: Short Break 

  • 14:45 - 15:30: The Learning Behind Learning: How is education made rich by our research? 

Bárbara Varassi Pega and Michalis Cholevas will share their experiences of researching educational practices within the contexts of tango and West Asian traditions. 
Bárbara's work centers on the art of teaching tango within a European conservatoire setting. She will explore how her research has become a valuable resource, influencing her teaching methods and extending its impact to Argentina. 
Michalis Cholevas, on the other hand, will shed light on his research within the realm of West Asian traditions and how it directly informs his educational practices. This session is a practical exploration of how academic insights translate into innovative teaching methods. 

  • 15:30 - 16:00: Informal Q&A with speakers for students with questions
    After the formal programme, there will be an informal Q&A session with the speakers at 15:30 in W-A0.01 (Band/theory/dance room). 

  • 16:00: Closing 

Please note: 
Refreshments will be provided for registered attendees, and Codarts’ mobile library will display new publications by the participants.  


The researchers 

Rachel Beckles Willson (UK/Ireland) leads Artistic Research at Codarts and is a Professor of Intercultural Performing Arts. As a composer and performing musician, she crosses between classical music of the global North, Cuban, Arab, Turkish and Persian traditions, playing piano, saxophone and oud. Rachel is a widely published scholar, recently releasing her book ‘The Oud: An Illustrated History’. Since moving to Rotterdam, a year ago, she has been learning tango and Indian music. 
Bárbara Varassi-Pega (Argentina) is a pianist, arranger, composer, researcher and educator, specialised in River Plate tango, which she teaches at Codarts, alongside her work with classical and contemporary music of the global North. Since completing her PhD nearly a decade ago, she has published extensively on tango, including her book ‘The Art of Tango’ (2021).  
Michalis Cholevas (Greece) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator who performs on yayli tanbur, tarhu, ney and saz and teaches at Codarts. He completed his PhD in 2023, and his publications include ‘Visualization and Critical Digital Pedagogies: Insights from Anthropology and Musicology’ (co-written with Anna Apostolidou, 2023). 
Stephen Meyer (U.S.A.) is a violinist and researcher with wide performing and recording experience in classical music of the global North and tango traditions. While teaching violin at Codarts, he is a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Music in London, and his research on Parisian ‘Tangomania’ is to be published shortly.

Juliano Abramovay (Brazil) is a versatile musician, composer, and researcher passionate about exploring diverse musical traditions. He teaches on the RASL programme at Codarts. A PhD candidate at Durham University (UK), his co-written chapter in ‘Music Performance Encounters’ (2023) has just been published. 
Ned McGowan (U.S.A.) is a composer, flautist, researcher and teacher who, as a researcher, specialises in musical time with a focus on the traditions of India. He is a PhD candidate at ACPA, Leiden University, and an artistic research coach at Codarts while also teaching at Fontys (Tilburg) and the University of the Arts (Utrecht).