Esther Marié Pauw is an artistic researcher with Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation (AOI) at Stellenbosch University (South Africa), where she coordinates the AOI Sonic Residencies programme. She is a recipient of a 2020 Stellenbosch University postdoctoral award for excellence in research.
Her PhD in artistic research (2015) examined perspectives on interventionist curating in classical flute music concert practice, using geo-political aspects of landscape as lens for curations. Her subsequent work engaged mapping practices and site-specific aspects of music-making as interventionist curating amidst publics, institutions, art, history and music-making. She has published articles in Ellipses (online journal), Herri #1 (online journal), Herri #4, Acta Academica, LitNet Akademies, Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa, South African Music Studies, NewMusicSA Bulletin, Perspectives of New Music (forthcoming) and Oxford Artistic Research (forthcoming). During 2020 she was a visiting scholar and artist in residence at Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS), as part of the Xnau-Xnau duo research project with sonic and visual Khoi artivist Garth Erasmus. Their music, as a seminar presentation to cohorts, can be heard on https://youtu.be/FjLbppR19Kc.
Since 2015 her improvisatory work with Garth Erasmus has explored openings into decolonial aestheSis. The documentary films Kreun, (Aryan Kaganof, 2016), Khoisan ghost kreun (Kaganof, 2016), Nege fragmente uit ses Khoi’npsalms (Kaganof, 2018), Suiwer in Blauw (Kaganof, 2018), Sewe, Joubert Straat (Kaganof, 2019) and Invocation (Kaganof, 2020) and Smeekbede (Kaganof, 2020) comment critically and respond artistically to her and Garth’s music-making. Through collaborating in improvisatory sonic events, the duo explores aspects of socio-politics, music, and technology amidst contingent contexts. Audio pieces of their sonic collaboration can be heard on Greg de Cuir Jr’s online exhibition for Media City Film Festival (Detroit-Windsor), www.mediacityfilmfestival.com/dark-dark-gallery/ and, playing with a wider circle of colleagues, on Africa Open Improvising, www.soundcloud.com/user-610733588.
Esther Marié maintains a private flute coaching studio in Stellenbosch. She curates the Éva Tamássy Flute Collection of music, arguably the largest privately compiled flute score collection in Africa, and she curates the Tamássy Flute Hour of flute and chamber music playing. She has commissioned and premièred many South African flute compositions and sound installations, and performed on national festivals. With musicians Ilse Speck, and Barbara Highton Williams, she has presented recitals in Ulm, Germany, and Princeton, USA, and with local musicians she has played extensively, as well as acted as co-founder of several chamber music ensembles over the past three decades. Several compact disc compilations of solo, duo and chamber music have been recorded by her. Current flute projects soon to be released include Under my fingers: Busking album, as well as Infecting Blavet / Affecting Varèse (forthcoming 2021).