Performative Research in Music and Poetry

An intercultural pedagogy of listening

Authored by: Peter Gouzouasis , Carl Leggo

The Routledge International Handbook of Intercultural Arts Research

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138909939
eBook ISBN: 9781315693699
Adobe ISBN: 9781317437260


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From our familiarity with the Reggio Emilia literature concerned with listening to children, it makes sense that we, as adults, also learn to attend to each other and honor an intercultural pedagogy of listening. In our collaborative and creative inquiry of composing and performing music and poetry, we have learned that we must listen carefully, not only to the words, but also to the images, rhythms, melodies, thoughts, and feelings that the words and music evoke. As we perform poetry and music together and as we listen to each other, complex layers of sound and meaning are evoked. Above all, we learn to attend to the liminal spaces that exist around, through, in-between, and within music and poetry. Our reference to liminal is inspired by the Greek root, limni (λίμνη; of or relating to a lake), and relates to the (s)p(l)ace that exists at the surface of a lake, the “mist and midst” that is neither lake nor air, but the consubstantiation of both to create something that is holistic and new. By engaging collaboratively, we learn to listen attentively to the intersections of music and poetry, and we learn how to shape our performative research in pedagogically innovative ways.

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