Orpheus Research Centre

The Orpheus Research Centre was launched in 2007. Its mission is to produce and promote the highest quality research into music, the processes of music making, and our understanding of them.

Orpheus Research Centre

Throughout the research centre’s activities, there is a clear focus on the development of a young research discipline in the arts: one that addresses questions and topics at the heart of the artist’s musical practice.

Research Strategy

The Orpheus Research Centre's strategy is based on 3 qualifying features:

  • A unique research perspective

The Orpheus Research Centre is the first of its kind to focus its research questions through the perspective of the artist-researcher. The research builds on the unique expertise and insights of musicians and is constantly dialoguing with other disciplines. The Orpheus Research Centre creates a specialised research environment for musician-researchers and aims to serve as a magnet for artists who cannot avoid being researchers.

  • A shared research focus

Since 2010, the Orpheus Research Centre has developed its own research focus 'Artistic Experimentation in Music'. The core claim is that: ‘Experimentation is omnipresent in artistic practice and in the processes of music making.' Exploring this field has the potential to give greater insight into how art unfolds and opens new possibilities for artistic practice and reception.

Within this research focus, around 30 artist-researchers work together as a close-knit community and develop both individual and collaborative research projects (Research Clusters). Each research cluster, led by a Principal Investigator, has its own strengths and strategic goals but they all aim to understand musical processes in experimentation, using appropriate and newly developed research methods. Each cluster will also focus on a clearly defined research topic, and assemble within it a group of smaller interrelated projects.

The Orpheus Research Centre’s research focus has proven to be an important step forward, not only for the research centre but for artistic research in music in general, by bringing together a substantial corpus of knowledge and practice upon which future artistic research can be built and from which musicians all over the world can benefit.

  • A node in a network

Based in Flanders, but international in its scope, Orpheus Institute and its research centre aim to serve as a ‘node’ through which new research findings can be shared. Through its institutional partners and contacts, and via the dissemination activities of its researchers both within and outside the Orpheus Institute, the Orpheus Research Centre provides a means of transferring knowledge efficiently from the world of research to that of musical practice and artistic education – and vice versa.

Over the years the Orpheus Research Centre has built a strong international network comprising relevant institutions and individual artist-researchers and continues to attract visiting experts to contribute to this dynamic research environment.

Lucia Dare 2015