Music Colloquium: Spiralling Networks of Collaboration and the Creative Process

The speaker is Dr Mic Spencer (University of Leeds)


The paper will look at various themes with some observations about creative process and artistic collaboration. Several short case studies from my own practice are intended to give examples of different approaches to creative collaboration and interdisciplinary encounters between music and philosophy/the non-musical. Starting with some contextual (small-scale) examples of different types of collaboration I have been involved with over the last fifteen years (as composer and conductor), the paper moves towards more substantial cases including collaborations between myself and performers in traditional and unconventional ways, with other composers, with living philosophers, with deceased philosophers and with postgraduate researchers.

Some consideration will be given to the concepts of Foucault’s ‘Panoptican’, ‘Boehme’s ‘Ungrund’ and what to do if your Head of School insists that you compose a piece or 28 Steinway pianos.

About the speaker

Mic Spencer was born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, and studied composition with Graham Hair at Glasgow University where he received an MA in Music and Scottish Literature. Between 1997 and 2002, he completed a MusM and PhD in Composition with Geoff Poole at Manchester University. Between 1998 and 2004 he worked privately with James Dillon, on whose work he has published two articles and he has also studied in masterclasses with Richard Barrett, Steve Takasugi, Chaya Czernowin, Brian Ferneyhough, Mathias Spahlinger and Pierluigi Billone. His music has been performed nationally, internationally, on BBC Radio 3 and is available on CD. He is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Leeds, where he is also Deputy Head of School, Head of Composition, and director of the new music ensemble LSTwo.