The 6th International Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Seminar on Musical Semiotics

The 6th International Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Seminar on Musical Semiotics was held at the Department of Musicology, University of Helsinki, on March 9-13, 1998.

Those members who have joined our project recently should be reminded that, in addition to the big biannual conventions and their proceedings, we have the annual doctoral seminars in Finland, either in Helsinki or at the International Semiotics Institute of Imatra, Eastern Finland. The next doctoral seminar will be held this summer on June 9-12, 1999 at the ISI, Imatra. These doctoral and postdoctoral seminars are intended for younger scholars (I think we are all young) in the field. More time than in normal symposia is reserved for everyone who is presenting his/ her doctoral or postdoctoral study project to an international committee of directors.

As mentioned, the last seminar in the series took place in Helsinki, and featured speeches by Raymond Monelle, Stefania Lisi and Gino Stefani as well as Anne Hénault from Paris. The participants of the seminar were: Damien Pousset, John Ellis (who played an excellent recital of the rare music by the black American composer Arthur Cunningham), Mark Reybrouk, Luisa Antoni, Vita Gruodyte, Alla Ablova, Antti-Ville Kärjä, Luiz Fernando de Lima, Thierry Poirot, Drina Hocevar, Märt-Madis Lill, Susanna Välimäki, Ulrik Volgsten, Kaire Maemets, Christine Kohler, Veronica Janatjeva, and Juha Ojala. 

We particularly remember the illustrative multimedia performances by Stefania Lisi/ Gino Stefani, who dealt with the universality of languages and synesthesic phenomena between music and visual arts. In the applied part of their presentation they showed the results from their new therapeutic approach, in which they do not ask so much How Musical Is Man, but How Human Is Music?

Especially impressive was the film from an Italian hospital in which an immobile patient started to move again after undergoing the Lisi-Stefani treatment. Semiotics is in this case serving very noble intentions, indeed. See more in the book by Stefania Guerra Lisi: SinestesiArti. Nela Globalità dei Linguaggi. It can be ordered from the author at this address: via Porrettana 466, 40033 Casalecchio di Reno (Bo), Italia.

About these seminars, I further need to tell you that their papers are nowadays published in the series Acta Semiotica Fennica in collaboration with Indiana University Press. The last volume, entitled Musical Semiotics in Growth and which appeared two years ago, proved to be a success (1000 copies sold). Now we are gathering the papers of the three last seminars. And we shall add to those the papers to be presented this summer. For young scholars, this is a nice beginning for a career!

Finally, I can tell you that one of the participants at the last seminar, Thierry Poirot, has prepared a video film on the events of the last seminar in Helsinki. It is very nice and entertaining. You may request copies at this email address: poirot@ushs.ustrasbg.fr

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