“Eleanor Stubley makes
magic happen…”

– Diamond Jubilee Medal Citation, 2013

Reaching Beyond the Given

Music, sculpture. Time and space. Sound and clay. Perhaps unusual pairings. Yet for me, a conductor, the shared presence of a hand binds these pairs. As seen in the video, the hands of sculptor Joël Prévost reach with mine into the emptiness of space to convey the silent vibration of music between these poles. His sculpture renders tangible the tension and emotion in the reaches and holds of my hands. Moved by these now-tactile connections I can ask: How are we touched as we listen? What do these hands touch and what are they touched by?

The work begins with the schism that has traditionally existed between the words used to describe and explain music and the experience of music in and through the body in performance. From this first fusion of music and words, music and sculpture, I reach out to other artists working in a diverse array of fields across the globe. Together we are attuned to the work of our hands in building and exploring musical worlds. Central to this work is the medium of film, which, like sculpture, becomes a means of holding movement – challenging me to look again each time from a new perspective and allowing me to work with the twoness of my hands as artist and scholar. This work will, in turn, be used to expand traditional musical discourses to include musical performance and the embodied cognition that lies at the heart of music.