The influence of layouts and dynamics on the terminology of Performance

Fabricio Mattos

In my research project, I analyze the influence of performance layouts and dynamics on performers’ understanding of four basic elements of performance: stage, audience, performer, and performance itself. The project is based on both theoretical and applied concepts, approaching creatively fields as diverse as history, aesthetics, and anthropology in order to help us explore alternative ways of delivering music performance events in the 21st century. 

In order to understand the relationship between the abstract definition of those four elements and their applied meaning in the field of performance, I have produced a series of public events called the New Stages Series. Most of the events have taken place in what is known in the field of theatre as ‘empty spaces‘, terminology I have come to realize is usually more connected to physical structure than to any aesthetic and/or conceptual potential such spaces might hold. This led me to explore what roles the aesthetics of ‘emptiness’ play in different cultures, and how these influence the conception of performance spaces, as well as the performance events that happen within them.

Image Credits: Fabricio Mattos

Such wide research, together with the inquisitive character of the students and staff of the Royal Academy of Music, resulted in an overtly experimental approach to the New Stages events, each of which led me to the constant questioning of the limits of what constitutes music performance and allowed me to see how much is still left for us to explore if we are willing to do so.

Some of the conceptual and creative output of this research has also recently been applied to new commissions and artistic collaborations with various institutions, ensembles, and individual artists, exploring the possibilities that an aesthetic and conceptually driven approach to ‘empty’ performance spaces can offer. My current professional activities now include not just my work as a professional guitarist, but also as a creative director in many exciting projects, coordinating their development from concept to delivery and exploring a great variety of media, always supported by the knowledge I have developed during my PhD research. 

Audio and Video


If you would like to find out more about this project, please don't hesitate to get in touch:

Fabricio Mattos

Sarah Callis (Supervisor)