About Embodied Expression

The path to fulfilling, fear-free and expressive music-making leads through mindful interaction with one's own body, one's own self. Kerstin Behnke and Andreas Hetmanek merge musical practice and body-therapeutic applications into a new methodology that will inspire you in the long term.

Artistic expression is an essential component of a successful musical performance. But how can this dimension of musical expressiveness - often considered somewhat magical - be theoretically grasped?

All music-making is triggered by the movement of one's own body. Physicality becomes sound. Movements, some of them virtuosically differentiated, have a direct effect on the instrument; movement makes one's own voice resound; in conducting, movement has an almost magical effect on a foreign body of sound. A considerable part of the movements is internalized during practice and takes place unconsciously at the moment of making music, another part is consciously controlled at the moment and can influence the tonal result.

Artistic expression - just like musical-technical skill - can only unfold through the body: It is not detached from the music-making body and takes place on a non-material, purely mental level, but is rather based to a considerable extent on the individual physicality of the music maker. So not least on unconsciously running, often very subtle, movements, in which the sum of the life experiences of the individual artist are reflected and which convey themselves to the audience - partly obviously partly unconsciously.

The importance of individual physicality for making music is now undisputed. It manifests itself not least in a wide range of body-oriented practices, which, however, take place largely in isolation from general musical teaching and practice and only indirectly interact with each other.

The explicit connection of body-oriented self-experience and musical-technical work, however, explores a transitional zone in which artistic expressiveness can be concretely shaped and formed.

Two aspects are to be distinguished: On the one hand, the inwardly directed finding of a musical expression, the tracing of an inner resonance with the work "to be embodied", on the other hand, the outwardly directed communication of this expression, the resonance with the recipients, the transmission of one's own artistic feeling. Both aspects require, on the one hand, a comprehensive knowledge, technical mastery and aesthetic grasp of the work, and on the other hand, access to the deep inside, the endurance of a permeability to the unconscious, that which cannot be grasped conceptually, and a high level of physical presence.

In the project Embodied Expression, the body is opened up as a medium and source of artistic expressiveness. From the linkage, combination and fusion of established methods of musical-technical practice and body-oriented self-awareness, concrete forms of practice are developed that have a direct impact on artistic expression.

Artistic expression is taken out of the mystical seeming corner of "grace", "talent" up to "genius" and transferred into a workable, changeable object of practice and teaching.