Informing research as artists, collaborators, performers and curators

Artistic research is at the core of what most staff at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (QCGU) do with great passion and expertise. This focus area incorporates a diversity of performance practices, compositional approaches, recording projects and curatorial festival activities on local, national and international platforms.

Our researchers examine the centrality of research in creative processes in music, and aims to make those processes more transparent for practitioners, students, listeners, scholars and those involved in research policy.

Remarkable research

In 2016 we launched a scoping study to understand how artistic research in music is positioned in universities around the country. Artistic research projects have been supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Queensland and Ian Potter Foundation.

Focus area convenor

Associate Professor Vanessa Tomlinson

Associate Professor Vanessa Tomlinson is an Australian percussionist who is active in the fields of solo percussion, contemporary chamber music, improvisation, installation and composition. Vanessa studied at the University of Adelaide, Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg and received her Masters and Doctorate from the University of California, San Diego where she worked closely with Steven Schick and George Lewis. In addition Vanessa has studied Sichuan Opera with Master Zhong Kaichi in Chengdu, China.

Artistic Research in Music

Exploring Artistic Research in Music

In this video we meet Associate Professor Vanessa Tomlinson, Deputy Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre and Convenor of the Research Centre's Artistic Research in Music Focus area. Vanessa discusses the projects in the Artistic Research in Music focus area and what excites her about being a member of QCRC's vibrant research community.

Project highlights

Behind the Music

Behind the Music presents intimate insights from leading musicians into what happens behind the scenes as they prepare their art. In music performance, technology, composition, education and research, creative activities are often a response to musical questions arising directly from their artistic practice.

These presentations offer a valuable opportunity to reveal a range of creative processes as artists share their personal approaches to such issues. This series is hosted by Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre and provides an overview of artistic research.

Team members: Tomlinson V, Emmerson S, Schupp K, Weiss M, Munro T, Kanga Z, Ferguson J, Denson L, Newsome E.

Behind the Music with Tim Munro

Behind the Music with Karin Schaupp

Here and Now: Artistic Research in Music, An Australian Perspective

Here and Now is a snapshot of the artistic process taken from a particular time and place, specifically musicians connected to the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre in 2013–2014. It is not a singular story, but an entry point into the multiple ways we can approach the making of music. A commonality is the dedication to sound and music as a way of interacting with the world—providing windows of deeply considered process, transformation, interaction, isolation and collaboration.

Team members: Vanessa Tomlinson, Toby Wren, Erik Griswold, Danielle Bentley, Stephen Emmerson, Leah Barclay, Louise Denson, Kim Cunio.

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84 Pianos: 100 Ways to Listen

Crashing tone clusters, droning arpeggios, fragments of familiar tunes filled the halls, hallways, practice rooms, nooks and crannies of Queensland Conservatorium in a never-before attempted mass piano performance. Using all of the pianos at the Queensland Conservatorium in-situ, this work literally sounded the building and provided audiences with a chance to explore and compare acoustic spaces at the conservatorium. Through piano-maps that located all instruments across the three levels of the building, audiences could  choose their own adventure through the 30 minutes piece. The project was conceived and directed by Vanessa Tomlinson and composed by Erik Griswold, with piano team supported by Natasha Vlassenko and Oleg Stepanov.

Team members: Vanessa Tomlinson, Erik Griswold and QCGU staff and student members, collaborators and friends.

Media: Move over 76 trombones, 84 pianos come to Brisbane!

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