Professor Kenneth Smith: School of the Arts Inaugural Lecture

Professor Kenneth Smith discusses his recent work on the generation of energy in music through feedback loops, from the smallest details to the largest levels of a work’s formal structure. As a case study, Liszt’s (in)famous B Minor Sonata is used. In this exciting sonata, short musical phrases constantly threaten to spin out of control, leading to an exponentially accelerating piece of virtuosic music. The talk will address the philosophical grounding for Smith’s analytical technique, and will further consider the role of virtuosity in both the breakdown of classical phrases and the formation of a new hyper-energetic and dynamic musical form.

No music-theoretical knowledge is assumed for this talk, which is open to all.

As part of the lecture the full sonata (c.30 minutes) will be performed by Professor Ian Pace (City University, London), with real-time illustrations from Professor Smith.

The School of the Arts first Inaugural lecture series is an opportunity to celebrate and share the contribution and examples of excellence by School Professors. Please visit the School of the Arts events page for more information on this series of inspiring and captivating events.