Ellen is primarily investigating ways to put the identity, unique personalities or idiosyncratic behaviours of artists at the forefront of new concert material.
Ellen Sargen is a composer whose practice is situated in collaboration.
Through her doctoral research, Ellen is interested in reading her collaborative processes through an ethical lens and in documenting her practice as she attempts to create non-hierarchical spaces for co-creation.
This research is carried out with several long-term collaborative partners where Ellen works with professionals at varying stages of their careers as well as with amateurs. This includes working with the all-abilities group CoMA Manchester, where Ellen is the music director. This work has been incredibly important in helping her to articulate her ideas about collaboration, democracy and community-building.
Ellen’s research has expanded to working with artificial intelligence and machine learning. She is currently exploring how this experience links with her collaborative practice, helping her to ask bigger questions around working with “external voices”.
Ellen’s experience as a flautist is at the heart of many of these research threads where her interest in creating a new identity for herself as a flautist provoked her deep interest in identity, personality and behaviour. She often uses her experience and practice as a flautist to build relationships with her performers, including to build democratic spaces for co-creation.