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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Language: English
 Degree Discipline: Composition
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Aesthetic and Technical Analysis on Soar!
Soar! is a musical composition written for wind ensemble and computer music. The total duration of the work is approximately 10 minutes. Flocking behavior of migratory birds serves as the most prominent influence on the imagery and local structure of the composition. The cyclical nature of the birds' journey inspires palindromic designs in the temporal domain. Aesthetically, Soar! portrays the fluid shapes of the flocks with numerous grains in the sounds. This effect is achieved by giving individual parts high degree of independence, especially in regards to rhythm. Technically, Soar! explores various interactions among instrumental lines in a wind ensemble, constructs overarching symmetrical structures, and integrates a large ensemble with computer music. The conductor acts as the leader at several improvisational moments in Soar! The use of conductor-initiated musical events in the piece can be traced back through the historic lineage of aleatoric compositions since the middle of the twentieth century. [Score is on p. 54-92.]
Aesthetic Models and Structural Features in Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band
Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band was commissioned by Staff Sergeant Rone Sparrow, a percussionist with the West Point Military Academy Band. Funding for the project was provided by the Barlow Foundation. The piece was premiered April 13, 2005 in the Eisenhower Hall Theater at West Point, New York. Rone Sparrow performed with the USMA band, and Colonel Thomas Rotondi Jr., Commander/Conductor, conducted the piece. The concerto consists of three movements, and each movement features a different instrument: the first features marimba, the second, vibraphone, and the third movement features the drum kit together with a rhythm section (piano, bass, and drums). In addition to the piece, the dissertation paper discusses important technical detail related to the piece, including: harmony, form, rhythm, programmatic ideas as they relate to motivic strands, and the process of generating and discarding material. The paper also focuses on a number of factors that were influential to the piece, such as postmodern philosophy.
And Drops of Rain Fall Like Tears: A Composition for Electroacoustic Music and Video
And Drops of Rain Fall Like Tears is a composition for electroacoustic music with an optional ambient video component. The composition consists of a single movement electroacoustic work twenty-two minutes in duration. The piece creates an immersive sonic environment within the confines of a typical concert space, thereby recreating the powerful temper and subtle beauty of nature from different sonic perspectives. The paper is divided into four chapters, each discussing an element of the piece in detail. The introduction presents background information and compositional approach for the composition. Chapters 1 through 4 present detailed information related to the creation of both the electroacoustic music and video elements of the piece. Chapter 4 contains relevant information to the performance of the piece.
...and one of time...: A Composition for Full Orchestra with Narration.
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‘...and one of time.' is a reinterpretation of a small musical moment from Philip Glass' opera, Einstein on the Beach, centered around the phrase "Berne, Switzerland 1905." This reinterpretation is realized through the use of several different compositional techniques including spectral composition, micropolyphony and dodecaphony, as well as the application of extra-musical models developed by Alan Lightman, John Gardner, Italo Calvino and Albert Einstein.
Augeries, for Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and Tape: Aesthetic Discussion and Theoretical Analysis
Augeries is a multi-channel electro-acoustic composition for flute, clarinet, percussion, and tape. It is intended to be diffused through an 8-channnel playback system. Inspired by the first four lines of William Blake's Augeries of Innocence, Augeries captures the qualitative aspects of Blake's poetry by presenting the listener with an equally aperspectival aesthetic experience. The small-scale structure reflected on the large-scale form - the infusion of vastness and expansiveness into the fragile and minute. Augeries incorporates techniques of expansion and contraction, metonymic relationships, dilation and infolding of time, and structured improvisation to create an experience that is designed to explore the notion of musical time, and to bring to the listener the sense of time freedom. The critical analysis suggests that the increase in the notions of musical time, the aesthetics with which they conform, and the new time forms created, encapsulate communicative significance. This significance exists within a horizon of meaning. Semiotics illuminates an understanding of the structuring techniques used to render time as an area of artistic play. Understanding the aesthetics and mechanisms through which these techniques can be used constitutes a shared horizon of meaning. The concepts of cultural phenomenologist Jean Gebser, as explicated in The Ever-Present Origin, are used to contextualize these notions, through a description of the various consciousness structures with specific attention to the space-time relationships. Of specific concern are the aperspectival manifestations in music in the twentieth century and beyond. Special emphasis is given to the area of electro-acoustic music, particularly spectral music. The theoretical analysis explores how the various techniques are used to create an aperspectival experience, and includes specific descriptions of the technique of refraction as metonymy, and pitch set analysis of the technique of expansion and contraction.
Blueline Concerto: Critical Essay
The purpose of this critical essay is two-fold. First, the essay presents a detailed critical analysis of my original composition, Blueline Concerto for bass trombone and wind ensemble. Second, using Blueline Concerto, the essay presents preliminary findings of my study to develop an approach to composing that takes into account the musicians' health, specifically regarding noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). Through various hypothesized composition- and orchestral-based approaches, I test effectiveness on changes in NIHL risk while also noting that artistic merit and compositional integrity is preserved.
Brass Band History and Idiomatic Writing in Brass Music
The purpose of this research was to explore historical perspective of brass music. There is a brief history of brass bands in Britain. Furthermore, the paper examines the differences between two brass band pieces in the repertoire, A Western Fanfare by Eric Ewazen and Brass Symphony by Jan Koetsier. Both of these pieces were compared and contrasted against the author's newly composed work for brass, Two Companion Pieces for Brass Ensemble. The paper covers different techniques commonly used in brass writing and points these techniques out in all three pieces.
Breaking Through: A Composition for Symphony Orchestra
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Breaking Through is a single-movement composition for symphony orchestra based on a fourteen-note melody. Every harmonic and melodic figure except the bass line is derived from this source melody. The structure of the work is based on a number of musical dichotomies that work on both local and large-scale levels. The local dichotomies contrast consonance with dissonance and ambiguity with clarity (in respect to texture and rhythm). The dichotomy of two-part form versus three-part form and the dichotomy of simplicity versus complexity operate on the large scale. The unity lended by the single source melody coupled with the contrasts furnished by the aforementioned dichotomies allow Breaking Through to be both coherent and interesting.
Characterizing Noise and Harmonicity: The Structural Function of Contrasting Sonic Components in Electronic Composition
This dissertation examines the role of noise in shaping the form of several recent musical compositions. This study demonstrates how the contrast of noisy sounds and harmonic sounds can impact the structure of compositions. Depending on context, however, the specific use and function of noise can vary substantially from one work to the next. The first portion of this paper describes methods for quantifying noise content using FFT analysis procedures. A number of tests on instrumental and synthetic sound sources are described in order to demonstrate how the analysis system may react to certain sounds. The second part of this document consists of several analyses of whole musical works. Works for acoustic instruments are examined first, followed by works for electronic media. During these analyses, it becomes clear that while the use of noise in each work is based largely upon context, some common patterns do exist across different works. The final portion of the paper examines an original work which was written with the function of noise specifically in mind. The original work is put through the same analysis procedures as works seen earlier in the paper, and some conclusions are drawn regarding both the possibilities and limitations of noise analysis as a compositional tool.
Clestrinye [El Carnaval del Perdón]: Traditional rituals in intermedia composition.
In Part I of this thesis, I examine the use of Latin American rituals, ceremonies, and traditional folklore as conceptual and compositional material; studying and re-contextualizing concepts, cultures, and ideologies, and introducing them to foreign audiences. I explore issues such as laptop improvisation, interaction with other performance forces, and the utilization of the social elements of non-western celebrations, as explored in Clestrinye, a work for live and fixed electronics, mixed ensemble, dancers, and painters.
Clockwork Plums
Based on a story by Joshua Forehand with additional lyrics by Joshua Bradford, Clockwork Plums is an original musical work that integrates techniques and ideas from composers and different cultures. The accompanying essay about the work includes a summary of the story, "Clockwork Plums," some historical background covering 30 years of pop music, an analysis focusing on the use of African and Reichian compositional devices, and discussion about controlled improvisation and use of the voice as compositional tools. The music consists of three sections scored for 5 voices (lead male vocalist and SATB), flute (doubling tenor saxophone), Bb clarinet (doubling baritone saxophone), violin, cello, piano, electronic keyboard, electric guitar, electric bass, drum set, and percussion.
The Creative Process in Cross-Influential Composition
This dissertation describes a compositional model rooted in cross-influential methodology between complementary musical compositions that share generative source material. In their simultaneous construction, two composition pairs presented challenges that influenced and mediated the other's development with respect to timbre, transposition, pitch material, effects processing, and form. A working prototype first provides a model that is later developed. The first work Thema is for piano alone, and the companion piece Am3ht is for piano and live computer processing via the graphical programming environment Max/MSP. Compositional processes used in the prototype solidify the cross-influential model, demanding flexibility and a dialectic approach. Ideas set forth in the prototype are then explored through a second pair of compositions rooted in cross-influential methodology. The first work Lusmore is scored for solo contrabass and Max/MSP. The second composition Knockgrafton is scored for string orchestra. The flexibility of the cross-influential model is revealed more fully through a discussion of each work's musical development. The utility of the cross-influential compositional model is discussed, particularly within higher academia.
Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music
Pleroma is a digital drama: a work composed of digital animation combined with electroacoustic music, presenting an original dramatic narrative. Pleroma's dramatic elements evoke both the classical form of tragedy and the concept of perceptual paradox. A structural overview of the drama and its characters and a plot synopsis are given to provide context for the critical discussion. Analytical descriptions of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture Op.62 and Mahler's Symphony No. 9 are provided to give background on tragic form and Platonic allegory in music. An investigation into the elements discussed in the analysis of the instrumental works reveals several layers of possible interpretation in Pleroma. Dramatic elements allow for tragic narratives to be constructed, but they are complemented by character associations formed by pitch relationships, stylistic juxtapositions, and instrumentation. A copy of the dramatic text is included to supplement the multimedia production.
Cultural and Technical Perspectives on Winter Landscape
Winter Landscape is an interactive composition for erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle), flute, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. The total duration of the piece is approximately 15 minutes. Winter Landscape serves to demonstrate one particular approach to exploring the possibilities afforded in an interactive paradigm within a cross-cultural context. The work is intended to convey my personality and identity as a contemporary Chinese composer through diverse cultural and musical influences drawn to this particular piece while creating a balance between traditional and modern sounds. The influences of Chinese philosophy (especially Chán) and the essence of Chinese traditional music play a prominent role as demonstrated in the formation of structures, expressions, and concept of Yun in the work; these influences also play a great role in determining the instrumentation and basic pitch structures of the work. However, this work is equally influenced by techniques and practices of modern Western classical music. These diverse influences hopefully have resulted in a unique work that truly does represent a cross-synthesis of these varying influences. In Winter Landscape, the interaction that takes place between the computer and the live musician is intended to reveal the responsive human/machine relationships. The computer constantly shifts its roles as a musical instrument, conductor, performer, and improviser to facilitate the sonic realization of the solemn, nebulous, and peaceful nature of Chán philosophy, thus exploring the cultural and musical potentials; meanwhile, the design of algorithmic structures simulate the modeling of human performance, enabling the computer with intellectual ability and musical expressivity as a decision-maker, resembling its counterpart-the live performer.
As Darkness Falls: A Composition for Wind Ensemble
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As Darkness Falls is a composition that explores our interaction with several aspects of darkness through the use of musical imagery. The imagery attempts to reflect the moods, feelings, and impressions of a person as he or she interacts with darkness. The non-programmatic character of the composition allows listeners to superimpose their own experiences onto the musical tapestry in order to manifest a personal connection between the listener and the music. As Darkness Falls is a composition scored for a minimum instrumentation of piccolo, 6 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 bassoons, 9 B-flat clarinets, B-flat bass clarinet, 2 E-flat alto saxophones, B-flat tenor saxophone, E-flat baritone saxophone, 4 B-flat trumpets, 4 horns in F, 3 tenor trombones, bass trombone, 2 euphoniums, 2 tubas, timpani, and 4 percussionists. The music consists of three movements (slow-slow-fast) lasting a total of approximately seventeen minutes. The duration of each of the three movements is six minutes, four and one-half minutes, and six and one-half minutes, respectively. The document also contains an analysis of the work by the composer. The analysis explores the compositional style of the work, focusing on musical aspects within each movement that were governing parameters in the compositional process.
A Different Drummer: A Chamber Opera
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A Different Drummer is a chamber opera adaptation of Donald Davis's story "A Different Drummer" from his collection Listening for the Crack of Dawn, published by August House. The opera lasts about seventy minutes, and calls for a cast of three and an orchestra of sixteen players. It contains a prologue, epilogue and four scenes in a single act. The score is prefaced by a paper describing the musical strategies employed in setting the story as an opera. Three chapters describe the adaptation from short story to opera, the essential musical elements, and details of the application of the musical elements in each scene of the opera. The libretto is presented in the fourth chapter.
Dream of a Thousand Keys: A Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
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Dream of a Thousand Keys is a concerto for piano and orchestra, which consists of four movements presenting multiple dimensional meanings as suggested by the word "key." I trace the derivation of Korean traditional rhythmic cycles and numerical sequences, such as the Fibonacci series, that are used throughout the work, and explore the significant role of space between the soloist and piano that are emphasized in a theatrical aspect of the composition. The essay addresses the question of musical contrasts, similarities, and metamorphosis. Lastly, I cover terms and concepts of significant 21st-century compositional techniques that come into play in the analysis of this work.
Earth Ascending: A composition in three movements for female voice, electroacoustic music, and video
Earth Ascending is a composition in three movements scored for female voice, electroacoustic music, and video. Composed in the Year 2000, Earth Ascending lasts approximately sixteen minutes and was created specifically for live performance in which all three elements combine to create a sonic and visual environment. As such, no single element has greater importance than any other, with each of the three performing forces assuming a foreground role at various times throughout the work. Earth Ascending is defined by a single poem written by contemporary female British poets Jeni Counzyn, Jehanne Mehta, and Cynthia Fuller. The movements are named according to the title of each poem: Earth-Body, Light-Body; Wringcliff Beach; and Pool. The movements are separated in performance by five seconds of silence and black on the video screen. The paper accompanying the score of Earth Ascending is divided into five chapters, each discussing in detail an element central to the composition itself. The Introduction presents background information, general ideas, and approaches undertaken when creating the work. Chapters 1 through 3 investigate in detail the content of the electroacoustic music, voice, and video. Chapter 4 discusses scoring techniques, revealing approaches and methods undertaken to solve issues relating to notation and ways of accurately representing sound, pitch, and rhythm within the context of a mixed media work. Chapter 5 presents information relevant to the live performance of the piece.
Fidget, Sway, and Swerve: Three Works Inspired By Movement From the Intricate Maneuvers Series
Intricate Maneuvers is a series of musical works that were composed using movement as a model for compositional processes and forms. This essay presents in-depth analyses of three works from the series; Fidget, Sway: The Mildest Form of Falling, and Swerve for Chamber Ensemble. The analysis of each work highlights correlations between the musical characteristics of that work and the temporal, spatial, contextual, and psychological implications of the motion after which it was modeled. The third chapter also demonstrates the ways in which the creation of Sway was influenced by materials and processes taken from Ruth Crawford's String Quartet 1931. In order to investigate the question of how life experiences can function as models for compositional processes, the essay examines precedents for the compositional modeling of extra-musical ideas and images in the works of Bed?ich Smetana, Elliott Carter and Roger Reynolds. It also discusses approaches to modeling movement in music created for dance. Throughout the Intricate Maneuvers series, movement is modeled not merely to create an association between a musical work and a particular movement pattern, but rather to infuse the compositions with the dynamism that defines a particular kinetic experience.
Five Seasons: A composition for flutist and percussionist
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Five Seasons is a musical work for flute and percussion. The flutist alternately performs on the C flute with a B foot, alto flute, piccolo, and bass flute in each movement. The percussionist also plays different instruments in each movement: the vibraphone for Mid-Summer; the xylophone for Fall; the woodblock, temple block, and cowbells for Spring; the glockenspiel for Summer; and the marimba for Winter. The five movements of this work - Mid-Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter - are based on a combination of Eastern performing practices with Western instruments. The musical characteristics are based on the techniques of fifteenth-century (e.g., isorhythmic technique) and twentieth-century Western music.
Fractus I for Trumpet in C and Electronic Sound: A Critical Examination of the Compositional Process
Fractus I is a composition for trumpet in C and live electronic sound. The electronics were primarily created using SuperCollider, an environment and programming language for real time audio synthesis. This project investigates SuperCollider's pattern and task functionality as a means of supporting and enriching the compositional process. Fractus I develops several different code architectures in order to randomize as well as synchronize various musical elements. The piece exploits SuperCollider as both an audio synthesis tool and a performance conduit. Additionally, the nature of SuperCollider's patterns and tasks influences the form and content of the composition. The project underscores SuperCollider as a powerful, versatile and open-ended tool for musical composition and examines future directions and improvements.
The Full Armor of God
The Full Armor of God is a musical composition based on the apostle Paul's comparison in Ephesians 6:10-20 between armor for physical combat and armor for spiritual warfare. The instrumentation consists of the following: oboe/English horn, bassoon, two violins, viola, cello, and bass. Texts on Roman armor as well as commentaries and sermons on the scriptures were consulted for the basis of the musical materials. The piece combines imagery and historical associations with abstract renderings of both the physical and the spiritual.
Galileo's Eyeglass: An Orchestral Work Celebrating the Discovery of the Moons of Jupiter and the Rings of Saturn
Galileo's Eyeglass is a celebratory work for full orchestra with standard instrumentation commemorating Galileo Galilei's discoveries of the four largest moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn in 1610. The composition is approximately 14 minutes in duration, and although divided thematically into four parts, the music is continuous. The work exhibits primarily a blend of contemporary styles and compositional elements, yet it is rooted in traditional tonality; furthermore, the piece is interspersed with references to Galileo's life and times, including quotations of a toccata composed by the scientist's brother, Michelangelo Galilei, transcribed from lute tablature. Chapter 1 of Part 1 investigates relevant historical threads extracted from the backdrop of Galileo's life, from reflections on the events that shape the musical program, to the selection and preparation of the period music composed by Galileo's brother. Chapter 2 discusses specific musical components of Galileo's Eyeglass, including form, musical quotations, motivic and thematic material, harmonic language, orchestration, and notation. Chapter 3 examines the principal philosophical themes behind the composition, including expressions of victory of a life well lived in spite of many obstacles. Part 2 contains the orchestral score.
General Process in the Creation of Estruendos and Principal Structural Elements of the Composition
My composition, Estruendos, is a work for large symphonic orchestra, guitar and computer-generated and processed sounds on CD. The work lasts 23 minutes and 45 seconds. My dissertation is composed of two parts: Part One comprises the analysis and Part Two comprises the score. Part One gives a brief background of my compositional dialect and aesthetics. It also includes a discussion of the compositional process and general overview of Estruendos. In addition, it illustrates the primary role the placement of sonic events in time and timbral structure play in the pathos of Estruendos.
Germinal Ideas and Processes within plies (2002): A Chamber Work for Eleven Players
The piece is a twenty minute work discoursing the integration and eventual dissolution of two separate musical strands. The pitch material of each strand is determined from synthetic scales whose intervalic content duplicates at the following intervals: Perfect 12th, Diminished 12th, Minor 9th, Perfect 8ve, and Major 7th. A proportional means of temporal compression is generated through the use of the factor, 11/15 (e.g. Event 2 is 11/15 the duration of Event 1). Various elements of jazz music informed the construction of plies, including the instrumentation of the ensemble and the means by which the performers interact throughout the piece. Internal cueing and performer decisions are meant to eliminate the need of a conductor in favor of increased interpretive freedom by the performers.
GranCloud: A real-time granular synthesis application and its implementation in the interactive composition Creo.
GranCloud is new application for the generation of real-time granular synthesis in the SuperCollider programming environment. Although the software was initially programmed for use in the interactive composition Creo, it was implemented as an independent program for use in any computer music project. GranCloud consists of a set of SuperCollider classes representing granular clouds and parameter objects defining control data for the synthesis. The software is very flexible, allowing users to create their own grain synthesis definitions and control parameters. Cloud objects encapsulate all of the control data and methods necessary to render virtually any type of granular synthesis. Parameter objects provide several simple methods for mapping grain parameters to complex changing data sets or to external data sources. GranCloud simplifies the complex task of generating granular synthesis, allowing composers to focus less on technological issues and more on musical considerations during the compositional process.
Haiku Seasons
Haiku Seasons is a choral work that uses several haiku to portray moments in nature. Spread throughout the performance space, four choirs (SATB, 3/part) depict larger parts of the pastoral scene (i.e., mountains, the moon, etc.). Soloists depart from the choirs in order to perform solo, duo, trio, and quartet passages, which take place throughout the work. If enough singers are available, individual soloists may be used. The soloist groups display the more intimate moments of the scenes (i.e., sparrows, a blade of grass, etc.). The intent of Haiku Seasons is to create an image of nature isolated from human interaction. Thus, the image is a pastoral setting with many independent parts all coexisting in a relatively silent world. I combine aspects of tonality, time, space, and silence to create this image.
Heart of the Fathers, for Wind Symphony
Heart of the Fathers is a programmatic, seven movement work for wind symphony depicting my ancestors and their role as part of the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The movements represent their spiritual experiences, labors, times of joy, persecution, migration, and finally their arrival and success in their new homeland. The piece is organized in seven movements. Each movement represents a different portion of history leading to the western migration of my ancestors. The programmatic music contains a variety of symbols depicting the experiences of the pioneers. In the paper, each chapter addresses an individual movement. For each movement, the following information is provided: the historical events that inspired the piece, the musical symbols that characterize the program, and an analysis of the function of the music.
The Heidegger Collection
The dissertation consists of two parts: (1) the essay and (2) the composition. The essay elucidates the composer's creative process of the orchestral works, The Heidegger Collection. The Heidegger Collection has five movements. The titles of each movement are derived from the key philosophical concepts from Heidegger's most significant writing, Being and Time: (1) State-of-Mind, (2) Idle-Talk, (3) Moment-of-Vision, (4) Dread, and (5) Being-towards-the-End. The essay discusses the meanings of the five concepts, and explains how I express my reaction to Heidegger's thinking through music composition. The essay also discusses the essential musical language of The Heidegger Collection, such as interval cycles, polyrhythmic patterns, algorithmic elements, portamento effects, chaos theory, and oriental influence.
Images of Remembered Earth
Images of Remembered Earth is a musical composition scored for full orchestra. The composition was inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe's painting, Light Coming on the Plains I (1917), which depicts a sunrise over a flat and empty landscape. In the painting, the expanse of the sun's rays is expressed through an even-blended transformation of color from goldish-blue at the light's source to progressively darker shades of blue near the edges of the canvas. The progression of color is interrupted by thin gold bands which sectionalize the sunrise into seven concentric arches. The construction of the musical composition derives musical materials directly from elements found within O'Keeffe's painting, specifically the shaping of structure, expansion, and color in arch patterns. Arch patterns, an integral element in O'Keeffe's painting, govern elements in the musical composition, including pitch selection, the overall tempo scheme, rhythmic activity, and formal shape. Pitch materials are expansive by design; this expansive quality is exhibited through the employment of wedge-shaped musical ideas and through the utilization of higher and lower registers. O'Keeffe's use of color in the painting influenced the orchestration of the music and is manifested in two ways: 1) gradual transformation of timbral colors and 2) the juxtaposition of contrasting instrumental groupings.
jn4.gesture: An interactive composition for dance.
jn4.gesture is an interactive multimedia composition for dancer and computer designed to extend the possibilities of artistic expression through the use of contemporary technology. The software produces the audiovisual materials, which are controlled by the movement of the dancer on a custom rug sensor. The software that produces the graphic and sonic material is created using a modular design. During run-time, the software's modules are directed by a scripting language developed to control and adjust the audiovisual production through time. The visual material provides the only illumination of the performer, and the projections follow the performer's movements. The human form is isolated in darkness and it remains the focal point in the visual environment. These same movements are used to create the sonic material and control the diffusion of sound in an eight channel sound system. The video recording of the performance was made on April 22, 2002. The work was produced in a specialized performance space using two computer projectors and a state of the art sound system. Arleen Sugano designed the costumes, choreographed and performed the composition in the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theatre (MEIT) at the University of North Texas. The paper focuses on the design of the program that controls the production of the audiovisual environment. This is achieved with a discussion of background issues associated with gesture capture. A brief discussion of human-computer interface and its relationship with the arts provides an overview to the software design and mapping scenarios used to create the composition. The design of the score, a graphical user interface, is discussed as the element that synchronizes the media creation in "scenes" of the composition. This score delivers a hybrid script to the modules that controls the production of audiovisual elements. Particular modules are discussed and related to sensor mapping routines that give multiple mapping control to computer function enabling a single gesture o have multiple outcomes.
Just Intonation and the Revitalization of Neoclassicism: Three Works for Baroque Instruments
For a composer of today, the relationship between new music and music from many centuries past remains problematic. In order to create something new, it is necessary to go beyond previous techniques of composition in some way. At the same time, new music that has no connection with music of the past runs the risk of irrelevance. Just tuning offers one possibility for reconciling this problem. By effectively warping music of the past through the lens of altered tuning and contemporary composition techniques, music of the past may be understood in previously unknown ways. Part I, the critical essay, presents historical background and analysis of a cycle of three works in altered/just tuning. Part II presents scores of the works.
Latin Mass for Choir, Orchestra, Soprano and Mezzo-Soprano Soloists
The Latin Mass is a musical composition in five movements, scored for large choir, standard orchestra, and two soloists. The movements are the standard parts of the Roman Catholic Mass Ordinary. The language is set mainly in Latin with two exceptions: the Kyrie movement is set in Greek (which is the standard Roman Catholic setting), and the Credo is simultaneously recited in English and sung in Latin. The work is scored using conventional notation techniques and employs rather conservative technical demands on both the choir and orchestra. No extended techniques are required of any of the performers. It is set in a modal harmonic language.
The Light, for Two Narrators and Chamber Ensemble
The Light is a twenty-four minute composition for two narrators and chamber orchestra. The two narrators perform the roles of the Apostle John and Moses. After an overview of the piece and a brief history of pieces incorporating narrators, the essay focuses on my compositional process, describing how orchestration, drama, motive, and structure work together in the piece. The Light is organized as a series of five related scenes. In the first scene, God creates light. In the second scene, God places Adam and Eve into the Garden of Eden to tend it, allowing them to eat from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent appears, Adam and Eve succumb to his evil influence, and God banishes them from the Garden of Eden. Many generations have passed when Scene Three begins. Moses relates a story from Israel's journey in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. The people had become frustrated with Moses and with God. When God sent serpents among them as punishment, they appealed to Moses to pray for them. God's answer was for Moses to make a bronze serpent and place it on a pole. Whoever looked at the serpent would live. In Scene Four, John relates his vision of final redemption. New Jerusalem descends from heaven, with the River of Life and the Tree of Life ready to bring healing to the nations. Sadly, some people are not welcomed into the city, and the drama pauses to give respectful consideration to their fate. Finally, the fifth scene celebrates the eternal victory over sin, death, and the serpent of Eden. As I composed The Light, I had in mind the dramatic profile, the general motivic progression and the fundamental structural progression. However, most of the intricate interrelationships among orchestration, drama, motive, and structure were the result of informed intuition. Throughout the piece, each of these four elements interacts with the others, sometimes influencing and sometimes responding to them. My hope is that these subtle tensions propel the composition forward toward its ultimate resolution.
Loose Id for Orchestra
Loose Id, scored for orchestra (piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B-flat, B-flat contrabass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in B-flat, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (3 parts), violin I, violin II, viola, violoncello, and contrabass), is an abstract realization in sound of the energy of the Id. Unleashed, without the counterbalance of Ego or Superego, the Id generates unbridled instinctual energy, resulting in an orgiastic frenzy. Distinct from a state of dementia, this piece represents a thoroughly lucid and intentional rampage of self-indulgence. The accompanying essay examines the underlying structural principles of Loose Id, focusing on how they aid the creation of the overall experience of the piece. Particular attention is given to the concepts of linearity and nonlinearity and their roles in different levels of creative and listening processes.
Matador is an opera scored for orchestra, mixed chorus and soloists (mezzosoprano, 3 tenors, 2 baritones). The work is in one act divided into two main sections. Each of these sections is divided into subsections. The libretto is aphoristic in nature and dictates the form of each of these subsections. The division into two parts also serves as a means to evoke a sense of hopelessness of emotions in the first and a transforming disposition that culminates in a jubilant song in the second.
Memento mori: Concert for Violoncello and Orchestra
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Death, as a subject, has been treated extensively throughout history, both in literature as well as in music. The focus of Memento mori is to portray the inevitability of death through music. The first part of the document is an essay exploring the topic of death, its inevitability, unpredictability and the fragility of life. This section also includes a number of examples of composer's whose works have influenced the composition of the piece. The title of the work is meant to reflect that death catches up with all of us and that humans no matter how invincible they feel at certain stages of life will, eventually, succumb to death. The second part of the document is the notated orchestral score. The work is for full orchestra and solo violoncello. It is in three acts that loosely resemble three stages of life; Youth followed by life in adulthood and finally death. The work is not programmatic and the piece's formal structure varies from a traditional concerto, for although comprised of three distinct acts, there are no pauses between them. The entire work is meant to be dark and morbid and the specter of death looms throughout the piece.
Mobiles is a composition for an ensemble consisting of 12 instruments. The piece, in one movement, incorporates intuition, chance, and twelve tone techniques and reflects the relationship between motion and rest or tension and release. The structure is modeled according to principles of growth and decay, starting off slowly, building, and then dying away. Much of the material is inspired by mental images invoked from modern theories concerning chaos. Mobiles' character stems from the principal use of two motives, the chaos motif and the echo motif. Primarily, the chaos motif is representative of a state of motion while the echo motif represents a state of rest. Mobile architecture is usually characteristic of symmetry, balance, and proportion, but because of uncertainty in a natural environment, this proportion often falls short of a perfect symmetrical balance as in the case of a crystal or a fractal design. It is this kind of architecture that Mobiles portrays in its form and developmental process.
Never Odd Or Even: Using Temporal Structures In Composing Music For Dance
This study engages the collaboration of dance and music, focusing primarily on experiences in the production of a large scale collaborative concert entitled Never Odd or Even. Famous historical collaborations offer archetypal collaborative models, the more unconventional of which are applied to the pieces of the concert. Issues and observations regarding cross-influence, project evolution, and application of the collaborative models are engaged to determine effective means of collaboration given different circumstances. The key focus of the study, the temporal relationship between music and dance, is explored in great detail to determine three models for relating time between music and dance. These temporal relationship models are applied to the pieces and evaluated on effectiveness and potential strengths when applied to dance.
I Never Saw Another Butterfly: A Composition for SATB Choir and Chamber Orchestra
...I never saw another butterfly... is a twelve movement chamber work scored for SATB choir, narrator, percussion I [vibraphone, and tomtoms (4)], percussion II [timpani (4), tam-tam, snare drum, and bass drum], guitar, violins I and II, viola, and cello and is based on the book of the same name. It contains a variety of compositional techniques, forms and genres.
Now All the Fingers of This Tree
Now All the Fingers of This Tree is a work in two movements based upon a poem of the same name by E. E. Cummings. It is divided into two movements: The first movement is scored for nine part solo soprano, where one performer records each of the nine vocal lines. The second movement is an electro-acoustic work derived from four phrases of the original recording of the first movement. Total duration of the work is approximately 19 minutes. The paper provides a detailed analysis of both movements as well as a discussion on usage of text, problems addressed with traditional notation techniques, and technology utilized in the production of the work.
Ocean of Forms: for Soprano and Computer
Ocean of Forms is a cycle of five songs for solo soprano voice and electronic/computer music accompaniment on poems by noted Bengali poet, musician, philosopher, and author Rabindranath Tagore. This work approaches the song cycle as a vehicle for expressing and highlighting the poet's words. Word and syllabic stress, text painting, melodic development, and formal structure all function in relation to the text and its meaning. the replacement of the traditional piano accompaniment with electronic accompaniment provides further possibilities for new timbral structures and transformations, expressive microtonal intonation, algorithmic and aleatoric formal structures, acousmatic and spatialized sound, and a broad sonic palette. This work strives to provide a more fully developed expression of the text as afforded by these expanded musical means. the critical essay primarily explores the interaction between text and music in the work. the first chapter explores the historical precedents for the genre of the song cycle and other texted music as well as specific influences on the work. the following chapters explore the connections between the text and the vocal line and electronic/computer music, respectively. the final chapter deals with the formal structure of the work, especially the justly-tuned harmonic scheme and its relation to the text.
Paintings and Palaces, or The Lament of the Burger Flipper
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The opera is scored for chamber orchestra consisting of one oboe, two Bb clarinets, two horns in F, one trumpet in C, one tenor trombone, two percussionists (playing snare drum, bass drum, tambourine, wood block, triangle, suspended cymbal, crash cymbal, agogo bells, cow bell, brake drum, metal whistle, whip, large gong, Glockenspiel, chimes, timpani in F (low) and C), eight or more violins in two parts, six or more violas in two parts, and eight or more cellos in two parts. The characters are Alejandro Jiminez, a dramatic tenor; the Manager of Burger Palace, a baritone; the Suits 1/Fast Food Workers, a choir (SATB) and the Suits 2/Customers, a second choir (SATB), each ideally consisting of eight vocalists for a total of sixteen; the Daydream Figures, which are mimed parts; the Man with Gun, which is a spoken part. The opera, in one act consisting of six scenes and an interlude, is based on a libretto by the composer. There is only one scene change: from an essentially empty stage to a fast food restaurant in Scene 4. The length of the work is approximately sixty to sixty-five minutes.
Persistence: for Wind Ensemble
Persistence is a composition scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 bassoons, E-flat clarinet, 3 1st B-flat clarinets, 3 2nd B-flat clarinets, 3 3rd B-flat clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 E-flat alto saxophones, B-flat tenor saxophone, E-flat baritone saxophone, 3 B-flat trumpets, 4 French horns in F, 2 trombones, bass trombone, baritone, tuba, timpani, and 4 auxiliary percussionists. The music consists of three movements, fast-slow-fast, lasting approximately eleven and one-half minutes. The three movements last three minutes and twenty seconds, five minutes and thirty seconds, and three minutes and ten seconds respectively.
Perspectives on The Passion According to the Gospels of Matthew and John
My thesis covers the materials and methods of my composition, The Passion According to the Gospels of Matthew and John. It features an extensive analysis of Penderecki's Passio et mors Domini nostri Iesu Christi secundum Lucam. The research also covers some history of the Passion genre and its development. The second half of the paper presents a background and analysis of my work. It details many of the creative processes and methods I employed.
Piano Quintet
The thesis is a traditional piano quintet in the manner of Bartok, incorporating compositional techniques such as golden ratio and using folk materials. Special effects on strings are limited for easy conversion to wind instruments. The piece is about 15 minutes long.
Pilgrim Carnival
This thesis explores an experimental music approach to writing autobiography. As a composition, Pilgrim Carnival took place as a travelling series of events. The central event was a sound installation for a blindfolded audience. This essay is a description of that series of events as well as a discussion of similar precedents in interdisciplinary art. Beginning with Luigi Russolo and Marcel Duchamp, aspects of autobiography are examined in both noise music and the concept of the ready-made artwork. Body Art of the 1970s, particularly the work of Marina Abramovic, is also tied into the idea of the ready-made artwork as an explicitly autobiographical example. The hybrid form of Pilgrim Carnival and the concept of ready-made autobiographical music create ongoing potential for new work.
The Prayer of Daniel: for flute (with alto flute), clarinet (with bass clarinet), violin, cello, doumbek, percussion, piano, bass-baritone voice, and men's chorus
The Prayer of Daniel is a chamber piece in the style of an oratorio for vocal bass-baritone soloist, flute doubling on alto flute, B flat clarinet doubling on bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion on vibraphone and marimba, doumbek (a middle eastern drum), and men's chorus (TTBB). The approximate duration is thirty minutes. The text comes from the Old Testament book of Daniel, Chapter 9 verses 4 through 19. In these passages the prophet Daniel rends from his heart a prayer of repentance, mercy and forgiveness on the behalf of a fallen nation. The harmonic language of the composition combines both classical contemporary and jazz sonorities. The rhythmic language is drawn from the meter of the text, and is used to underscore the emotion of the prayer. These elements combine to form a rich music experience that conveys the penitent heart of the prophet Daniel.
Prayers of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication: A Composition for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble
This paper examines the relationship between text and music in Prayers of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication - a four-movement composition, fourteen minutes in length, for soprano, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, violin, double bass, and percussion. The text of the composition is taken from the Psalms and The Book of Common Prayer. The names and themes of the movements follow an ancient pattern for prayer identified by the acronym, A.C.T.S. Compositional considerations are contrasted to those of Igor Stravinsky and Steve Reich, with special emphasis on the use of musical structures, motives, and text-painting to highlight the meaning of religious texts.
Present Absence: A work for string quintet and live electronics
Present Absence is a work that integrates electronic processing and live performance. It is approximately 20 minutes long and is divided into three movements. The movements are distinct from each other, but are related through various elements. Incorporating electronic processing and live performance can be cumbersome. The primary objective of this piece is to use electronic processing in a manner that liberates the performers from any restrictions imposed by the use of electronic processing. The electronic processing in the work is accomplished through the program MAX/Msp, a real-time digital signal processing environment. The patch that was created for this piece is called MOO-V. This paper discusses the both the technical details in the construction of this patch, and the aesthetic it serves.