Haize Lizarazu

On We work like this. How do you work?




Performer, 10 statements, process, performance, academia, collaboration, relation, creation, interpretation, improvisation, commission, art disciplines.



Collaborations of any kind, and especially in the arts, are based on relational feedbacks between two or more people. This may seem quite obvious, but I think it’s important to set the focus on the word people, rather than on other terms such as work or result. Why? Understanding this is establishing that each collaboration on a creative process will be different, the same way that each person is different. Thus, I find it very difficult to dictate general statements to define such a rich and heterogeneous practice. Nevertheless, I understand–and agree with your points– that there is a big gap and void in the music academia regarding this working process.


The differentiation between creation and interpretation, composing and performing, is rather new if we attend to a global historical context. It is not until the XIX. Century that the performer became a separate figure in the musical act. That is also the moment where the music conservatory model appeared in Europe (being Paris the first music conservatory on which many others after where based on), and therefore, the basic patterns of music academia began. Those patterns are still very present–too present– in the professional music education nowadays.


I think it’s important to understand why do we learn under these fix patterns and to see that our music education in the academia answers to a certain context and time–more than a century has already passed!–that has very little to do with our own actual reality. In a time and place where a revolution called internet aims for non-linear kind of relational society where everything is connected net-wise, the creational processes and educational patterns must reflect this surrounding. The same way the composer/performer dualism was a reflection of that society where the specialization and industrial productivity was a reality, today’s world demands for new way of thinking about the work, the result, the process and, of course, the granular kind of knowledge that the collaborations and transdisciplinarity offer us.


Examples/own experience


  • Improvisation: hybridization of the creative and performative process. Real-time composition. I find there is a lack of importance given to the musical improvisation when talking about creative processes. In my own experience, is maybe the most important discipline where I could find myself actively creating for the first time. The performer’s knowledge about her/his own instrument becomes a real-time creative flow, demonstrating that creation is far beyond tangible artistic results (score) and beyond the theory-practice dualism.


  •  Commissions. Working with composers. As I began explaining in the beginning of this page, I see the relationship between people as a main core concept in almost everything that I do artistically. That’s why I normally work with composers not only because I am interested in her/his work, but also because I see a possibility of exchanging points of view and mutual knowledge during the process. Or at least, that’s the kind of work that I am willing to achieve. As a concrete example I could talk about the work done with Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca and the piece Music from Somewhere. We already knew each other from before. I was (and I am) very interested in his work and his artistic values and ethics, so that was the base for asking him to create a “piano piece” (more a piece for pianist) for me. I was working on a performance that I finished some time after (MANUAL-Hands as instruments) where I was working on the pianistic gesture as musical material. I wanted a piece that could dig into this concept so I could do it as a part of the staged performance. The result was a piece that used recorded musical content of my own (my past piano performances) and worked on the specific gestural movements that I do. With the time, we even changed some parts of the piece, seeing that other kind of movements could work better for me. There was a part where he worked “alone” during the process, but mostly, we met and tried out all the performative movements together and decided–together–which ones we were using for the piece. I really enjoy this kind of creative processes where the concepts can come from either the performer or the composer and where nothing is a fixed decision or result, but it’s a flexible work that changes, as we do. It becomes a living


  •  Other artistic disciplines. Having the chance to work with other artistic fields has taught me how enrichening this is to learn about other working ways. Music sometimes is a very “lonely” discipline, with a certain glimpse of “validation will” through its independence. Of course, music in itself is enough many times, but collaborations with other disciplines must not be seen as a weakness or a dependency, in my humble opinion. Other performative arts (theater, dance, performance art) have accepted the transdiciplinarity as part of their own basic definition (and as a part of their learning curricula). As an example, I recently worked with a dancer in a piece for MANUAL (Manuel Badás). Where movement and sound converge, dance/choreography emerges. We did several working meetings in an artistic residency where I prepared different sounds examples (derived from piano improvisations and post-editing process) and he reacted to them with movements. At the same time, he prepared some choreography and I created some sounds consequently. In the end, we found the common places to co-create DRIN, a hand choreography that I perform. Right now, we are working on another collaboration piece, but this time, he will be the performer. In both cases, the creative process is simultaneous and co-created.


Date Published

July 2021