Centro de Ciencias de Benasque Pedro Pascual

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Cooperative Musical Ensemble

2011, Jul 09 -- Jul 16

M. Tévar (C.P.M. Arturo Soria, Madrid)
P. Díaz (United Nations International School, New York)

Cooperative Musical Ensemble - Towards collaborative models for artistic creation
'The Youth United Nations Ensemble'

The 21st century is witnessing a great thirst for new models of collaboration that acknowledge and integrate the radically new emerging vision of the universe given to us by the natural and social sciences, our unprecedented access to information, and the explosion of possibilities for connecting and networking.

A thirst for models that address the complex cultural, economical and organizational needs that our world faces today. At the same time today we are confronted with major man-made crises across our social life: economic, ecological, social, political, cultural. Our traditional hierarchical structures have played a major role in these crises. They are also very limited in responding to the current demands of today’s world, often blocking creativity and productivity.

Artistic creation is at the core of humanity, as is cooperation and community. Certainly, it has a vital role to play in developing our awareness of our serious problems and of our profound interconnectedness as humans.

The aesthetic role that music plays in our lives is of transcendental value, but it should not overshadow the role that music could play as a laboratory for human evolution. Music, as many of the arts, is an expression of our collective intelligence and offers us profound insight into our potential. Cooperative ensembles do create excellent aesthetic musical experiences. The amazing burst of musical creativity and fusion of the late 20th and 21st centuries demonstrates this. They can also be a way of “co-creating” the future: a future with better and more efficient learning experiences, with new possibilities for creative interaction and growth. Such learning requires an intentional educational action that consistently focuses on developing transparency and trust, and organically introduces changes in values, attitudes, and practices.

The competence of a cooperative ensemble rests on the ability of the musicians to make collective decisions for themselves, and for that individuals must understand their own barriers to cooperation and learn how to overcome them. The practice of “conocimiento” will contribute greatly to this. This is a Spanish word that essentially means ‘sharing knowledge about each other in order to know each other’. So, how to achieve this two-fold trust in advance of the time when the Ensemble will gather in Benasque in early July of 2011 is something of a challenge. But it is the kind of challenge through which we can research how to develop better and more efficient learning experiences.

With this project we propose to use both the internet and face-to-face interaction. Participants will use social networking to participate in the selection process, setting the criteria for the selection of the participants and being in dialogue about important decisions. They will also co-operate to choose the repertoire of the three concerts that will be performed at the end of the meeting period. In Benasque, the work will consist of rehearsing the music in the context of building a co-operative musical community: exploring the underlying principles of cooperative dynamics, building relationship and trust through solving problems and experimenting with cooperative rehearsal techniques. At the end of this period there will be three concerts performed.

About the project
This is an international project that targets young musicians from all over the world.

Who can participate
String players (Violin, viola, violoncello and double bass) between the ages 16 and 25 who are currently enrolled and studying music in a conservatory, music school or at a music department of a school or college all over the world.

How to participate
Open for players and composers.

Anyone wishing to participate should send:

One or several video clips of three contrasting pieces or orchestral excerpts that represent the best musical qualities of the candidate to the e-mail address yune.cooperative@gmail.com, or post them in their own Facebook page and submit an invitation/link to the above e-mail address. The clips could also be posted in “Youtube” Read carefully the “Rationale” of the project and respond in a form of an essay to the questions:

    a. What does cooperation mean to me?
    b. Why do I want to play in a cooperative musical ensemble?
    c. What are the criteria I would use to select the participants for “Youth United Nations Ensemble”?
    d. What piece or pieces I would propose to be rehearsed and played in Benasque?

In keeping with the philosophy of the project, YUNE seeks composers from around the world to participate in its first event with an original music composition for string ensemble. The competition is open to composers under 30 years of age of all nationalities. The event will happen in Benasque, Spain in July of 2011. The chosen piece will be rehearsed and premiered in the concerts that YUNE will be performing there at that time. The piece should be from 5 to 10 minutes long, and it needs to be an original composition never performed or recorded before. The scores should be submitted electronically to une.cooperative@gmail.com in PDF or .MUS format.
Also the candidates should read the philosophy of the project and give essay responses to the following questions:

    a. What does cooperation mean to me ?
    b. Why I want to compose for a cooperative ensemble?
    c. What piece or pieces I would propose to be rehearsed and played in Benasque?

Financial support
All the expenses for food and lodging in Benasqe will be covered for all the participants.
Travel scholarships will be available to all the participants depending on need and distance of travel.

Announcement basis download
The present document explains the basis and conditions for participating in this project according to its philosophy. Please download and read carefully for more detail. Click here to download.

Further Information.

This session has received financial support from the following institutions:

  • logo CSIC
  • Gobierno de Aragón
  • Ministerio de educación y ciencia
  • DPH
  • Universidad de Zaragoza
  • Ayuntamiento de Benasque


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