My research focuses on: (1) the production of knowledge in artistic practices, and (2) the innovation of musical cultures. The first research line combines my work at the research centre Autonomy and the Public Sphere in the Arts at Zuyd University and my academic research in the field of Science and Technology Studies. I am interested in developing a symmetrical understanding of the ways the arts and the sciences create experimental situations in which non-propositional forms of knowledge, such as experiential and embodied knowledge, can be demonstrated, contested and disseminated. This research resulted in journal articles and book publications, one of which addressed the way audiences can have a creative role in artistic practices (Peters, 2013). The second research line focuses on musical practices as contexts of cultural reproduction. I conducted ethnographic research on André Rieu and his travelling orchestra as a study in musical adaptation and appropriation. Currently, I am working on a four-year ethnographic study of pipe organ building practices. This research investigates how knowledge, techniques and craftsmanship are developed in the practice of building a new baroque organ in the Orgelpark in Amsterdam.
Artful Participation: Doing Artistic Research with Symphonic Music Audiences
In the 21st century, symphonic music institutions face challenges that endanger their traditional ways of operating. Although symphonic music is widely accessible, it has lost its once position as the leading music culture. The number of visits is declining. Audiences are ageing. Due to budget cuts, government funding is no longer guaranteed. Whereas symphonic music was a vital element in the cultural landscape until the 1960s, it has become a museum art form since. In an “experience society”, the social value of classical orchestral music has changed profoundly. Its identification with high culture is no longer valued. In this project, the world of the symphony orchestra is studied as an exemplary case in scientific and artistic research on cultural reproduction in the 21st century. This NWO-funded project starts from the assumption that innovation of the symphonic music practice is not possible without improving the quality of audience participation in this practice. Our project combines strategic research into reasons for the declining interest in symphonic music with artistic research to innovate this practice in an artistically relevant way. This artistic research takes place in three experiments with new forms of audience participation. In the current symphonic practice, audiences are performed as listener, consumer or amateur. We will experiment with the new roles of maker, citizen and expert, thus actively involving audiences in programming, making and assessing symphonic music. The reflection on these experiments will result in a Learning model that will help to innovate the classical music practice.
The Artful Participation project is a four year NWO-funded collaboration between the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Zuyd Hogeschool and the South Netherlands Philharmonic.
A New Baroque Organ for the 21st Century
This project aims to research and document the building of a new baroque organ at the Orgelpark in Amsterdam. This concert venue in Amsterdam, founded in 2007, has an extensive collection of instruments, including a replica of a medieval organ and three Romantic organs. The new baroque organ that is to be built will be more than just an ordinary baroque organ. The main research question is how the process of building the instrument can be used as an innovative way to study performance and composition practices, listening practices, and organ building practices. The primary interest lies in how the organ can be used in relation to both contemporary and historically oriented ways of making music.
The research focuses specifically on how knowledge, techniques and craftsmanship are developed in the practice of building a new baroque organ. The construction of the baroque organ dovetails with the international trend of research organs. These instruments of knowledge create experimental situations: they can be ‘read’ and queried with regard to a diverse range of questions. The baroque organ project thus hopes to contribute to an exchange of insights between fields such as new musicology, science and technology studies, sound studies, and artistic research.
For more information on this project, see the (external) blog.
Most recent publications:
Peters, P., & van de Werff, T. (2020). Digitale flessenpost. de Klank. Magazine van orkest en vrienden philharmonie zuidnederland, 23.
Peters, P., & van de Werff, T. (2020). Een salon voor de vrienden. de Klank. Magazine van orkest en vrienden philharmonie zuidnederland, 7(3), 26.
Peters, P., & van de Werff, T. (2020). Hoe klinkt Maastricht Noordwest? de Klank. Magazine van orkest en vrienden philharmonie zuidnederland, 39.
Kursell, J., & Peters, P. (2020). Making Sound Present: Reenactment and Reconstruction in Historical Organ Building Practices. In S. Dupré, A. Harris, J. Kursell, P. Lulof, & M. Stols-Witlox (Eds.), Reconstruction, Replication and Re-enactment in the Humanities and Social Sciences (pp. 115-140). Amsterdam University Press.
Peters, P., Rosu, S., & Benschop, R. (2020). The Researching Orchestra: Innovative collaborations between symphonic orchestras and knowledge institutions. In M. Tröndle (Ed.), Classical Concert Studies: A Companion to Contemporary Research and Performance (1st ed., pp. 342-350). Taylor & Francis/Routledge.
Peters, P. (2019). Anders luisteren naar Beethoven. de Klank. Magazine van orkest en vrienden philharmonie zuidnederland, 7(2), 45.
Peters, P. (2019). Crafting Baroque Sound: How the Making of Organ Pipes Matters Artistically. In H. Borgdorff, P. Peters, & T. Pinch (Eds.), Dialogues Between Artistic Research and Science and Technology Studies (pp. 125-136). Taylor & Francis/Routledge.
Peters, P., Borgdorff, H., & Pinch, T. J. (2019). Dialogues between Artistic Research and Science and Technology Studies: An Introduction. In H. Borgdorff, P. Peters, & T. Pinch (Eds.), Dialogues Between Artistic Research and Science and Technology Studies (pp. 1-15). Taylor & Francis/Routledge.
Peters, P., Borgdorff, H., & Pinch, T. J. (Eds.) (2019). Dialogues Between Artistic Research and Science and Technology Studies. (1 ed.) Taylor & Francis/Routledge.
Peters, P. (2019). Het orgelmuseum. In K. Bijsterveld (Ed.), On Expedition to the Past: Tips for Hidden-Gem Cultural Heritage Destinations (pp. 36-37). Datawyse / Universitaire Pers Maastricht.