Martin Iddon
Composition Tutor

Born in 1975 in Manchester/UK. Iddon is a composer and musicologist. His music has been performed and broadcast on radio and TV in North America, Europe and Australasia by musicians including Distractfold, Ensemble Interface, Kairos Quartet, Ensemble SurPlus, Séverine Ballon, Jeffrey Gavett, Nicolas Hodges, Heather Roche, Ashot Sarkissjan and Eva Zöllner. A portrait CD, pneuma, was released in 2014. His string trio Danaë won the chamber music category of the 2014 British Composer Awards. His books, New Music at Darmstadt and John Cage and David Tudor, are both published by Cambridge University Press. His music is published by Composers Edition. He studied at the Universities of Durham and Cambridge and is Professor of Music and Aesthetics at the University of Leeds.

What makes artistic collaboration work?

Aren’t all artworks collaborative? Even the most traditional of painters needs an enormous number of people simply to make brushes—bristles might involve gathering hair from a Siberian weasel, hardwood for the handle needs to be procured, seasoned, shaped, and lacquered, metal must be obtained to create a ferrule to join these two parts together—before one even begins to think about paint, or canvas, or galleries. I worry that thinking about artistic collaboration as something different from other sorts of art making might unintentionally shore up the centrality of artists and marginalise all the rest of the labour that’s involved in any and every sort of artistic production.

Is music science? Why (not)?

Until not very long ago, five hundred years ago or so, it wouldn’t have been too ridiculous (or at all ridiculous, in fact) to have insisted that music was really the study of divine ratios. Music might well be a science (and an art and lots of other things too), but I think the question needs to include people too: for whom might music be a science? For whom might it not be? Why (not)?

Where are the limits of notation?

At the risk of being contrary, I’d prefer not to speak about limits. I wonder, instead, what are the (untapped?) possibilities of notation?

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