The CHASE project was an AHRC-funded research project at the University of Leeds (in partnership with the University of Cardiff) funded between 2008, and 2012. The aim of this four-year project (2008-2012) was to create a database of 19th-century performing editions of string chamber music, together with analysis and contextualization of the material.
Many performing editions, some supplied with detailed performance markings by their composers or by close contemporaries, and some produced long after the original works were composed and published, have been largely ignored as sources for the study of performance practices in recent times. Indeed, they have not been preserved systematically in research libraries and many are now proving difficult or even impossible to locate. Such editions were mostly edited by the leading instrumentalists of the time, and in many cases were influential well into the twentieth century. They contain, therefore, important evidence of how ideas about the transmission of performance occurred over a substantial historical period. They also provide considerable empirical evidence with which to approach questions of pedagogical practice, or the wider and equally vexed question of ‘schools’ of playing.
The CHASE database has continued to be an active resource since the end of the project. In 2018, after the retirement of its director, Professor Clive Brown, the site moved to the University of Huddersfield and is now under the directorship of Dr David Milsom.
“(Re)constructing Early Recordings: a guide for historically-informed performance” is a Leverhulme-funded research project that concerns the production of such recordings; through a (re)construction of mechanical recording methods, musical performances are captured, analysed, and made available to the international community of musical researchers. All recordings are simultaneously recorded using contemporary digital technologies, allowing for direct comparisons between the acoustic and digital recordings. Results, which integrate creative practice and theoretical research, illuminate both performance and recording practices of the past, and elaborate a method for future research into early recordings.
Find out more here.
Dr Ben Spatz/Urban Research Theatre
The Judaica project is a laboratory for new intersections of songwork and scholarship. The core of the project is six months of full-time embodied research involving three skilled practitioners in a studio laboratory. From 2016-2018 the project is funded by a Leadership Fellowship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).