Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Mediating from Within. Metaxical Amplification as an Alternative Sonic Environment for Classical Music Performance

Heloisa’s doctoral research examines classical music performance from a curatorial perspective, reflecting upon and challenging the traditional configuration of performance environments.


Heloisa Amaral is researcher at the docARTES programme, doctoral programme in musical arts.

Alongside a consideration for the historical origins of absorbed attention and silence as the dominant mode of performing and hearing classical music, she investigates alternatives to this mode by exploring artistic creations developed during the research. Informed by her combined experience as a curator and performer in the contemporary music field, these artistic creations use what she calls ‘metaxical amplification’: the amplification of environmental sounds that are generally considered noise in the context of classical music performances, and that are therefore rarely considered in relation to the artistic experiences generated by these performances. Metaxical amplification proposes a reconfiguration of the performance environment and the ways in which attention unfolds within it. It also challenges traditional notions of musical interpretation within a work-centred performance culture, since the performance mode emerging from this form of amplification is not oriented towards the interpretation of musical works, but rather to the sonic exploration of musical environments through these works. More broadly, it propels the development of a practice in which musical interpretation, improvisation, and curatorial thinking are tightly interwoven. In her research, Heloisa examines these findings in close dialogue with literature from various fields including sociology, philosophy and media theory, as well as through related examples from the fields of music, theatre, and the visual arts


  • Prof.dr. M.Cobussen
  • Dr. A. Scott
  • Prof. F. de Ruiter
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