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 Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
 Degree Discipline: Composition
"Deborah": The Creation of a Chamber Oratorio in One Act

"Deborah": The Creation of a Chamber Oratorio in One Act

Date: May 2016
Creator: Mixter, Mary
Description: In comparing oratorio traits across history, three aspects of oratorio were found to be particularly applicable to the creation of "Deborah: A Chamber Oratorio in One Act." These aspects were: the selection of topic and the creation or adaptation of text; the differences between recitative and aria, in form and function; and the level of stylistic diversity within a given work.
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Compositional approaches within new media paradigms.

Compositional approaches within new media paradigms.

Date: May 2016
Creator: Oliveiro, Mark A
Description: "Compositional Approaches to New Media Paradigms" is the discursive accompaniment to the original composition BoMoH, (a new media chamber opera. A variety of new media concepts and practices are discussed in relation to their use as a contemporary compositional methodology for computer musicians and digital content producers. This paper aligns relevant discourse with a variety of concepts as they influence and affect the compositional process. This paper does not propose a new working method; rather it draws attention to a contemporary interdisciplinary practice that facilitates new possibilities for engagement and aesthetics in digital art/music. Finally, in demonstrating a selection of the design principals, from a variety of new media theories of interest, in compositional structure and concept, it is my hope to provide composers and computer musicians with a tested resource that will function as a helpful set of working guidelines for producing new media enabled art, sonic or otherwise.
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The Sound-Poetry of the Instability of Reality: Mimesis in Music, Literature, and Visual Art

The Sound-Poetry of the Instability of Reality: Mimesis in Music, Literature, and Visual Art

Date: May 2016
Creator: Underriner, Charles Francis
Description: This paper uses the concept of mimesis to clarify the debate concerning the representation of reality in music. Specifically, this study defines the audio reality effect and the three main practices of realism as a way of understanding mimetic practices in multiple artistic media, in particular regarding the multimedia works of the "Landscape series." After addressing the historical debates concerning mimesis, this study develops a framework for the understanding of mimesis in sound by addressing the writings of Weiss, Baudrillard, Barthes, Deleuze, and Prendergast and by examining mimetic practices in 19th-century European painting and multimedia performance works. The audio reality effect is proposed as a meaningful translation of Roland Barthes' literary reality effect to the sonic realm. The main trends of realist practice are applied to electroacoustic music and soundscape composition using the works and writings of Emmerson, Truax, Wishart, Risset, Riddell, Smalley, Murray Schafer, Fischman, Young, and Field. Lastly, this study mimetically analyzes "2 seconds / b minor / wave" by Michael Pisaro and Taku Sugimoto and the works of the "Landscape series" in order to demonstrate the relevance of mimesis for understanding current musical practice.
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Ta/v\am: Real-time Audio/video Scrubbing Tools for Analysis of Multimedia and G®¡nd

Ta/v\am: Real-time Audio/video Scrubbing Tools for Analysis of Multimedia and G®¡nd

Date: May 2015
Creator: Tramte, Daniel Albert
Description: tA/v\Am (the Audio/Video Analysis Machine) is an interactive analysis engine optimized for audio/visual mediums, such as film, video games, and music. I designed tA/v\Am to allow users to pace the playback speed of videos containing sub-title style analytical text, without affecting the pitch content of the audio. The software affords writers the opportunity to display the relevant sensory data (i.e., analytical text and sound/visual media) more efficiently than the paper format. It also serves as a flexible medium; the writer may, for example, compress extensive text into a short amount of time, causing the reader to pause or slow down the rate of the video and thus suspending him/her in the sensorial moment which the writer describes. G®¡ND for Alto Saxophone, Percussion & Electronics is an exploration of the tipping point between signal and noise. Through tablature notation, MIR tools, granular synthesis, and the deconstruction of the saxophone, I have assembled a palette of inordinately contrasting sounds and threaded them together based on action profiles obtained by computer assisted analysis. With them, I have set varying physical conditions of friction that dictates whether the sonic energy is to become focused to one resonant point, or distributed equally/randomly throughout the spectrum ...
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The Nothingness of Presence: Sound, Ritual, and Encounter in the Music of Into Your Hands

The Nothingness of Presence: Sound, Ritual, and Encounter in the Music of Into Your Hands

Date: May 2015
Creator: Evans, Eric
Description: The ritual music written for the Compline service of the Liturgy of the Hours, Into Your Hands, is analyzed using an ontological and phenomenological approach, which seeks to answer how such sound/musical phenomena wed to the specific ritual dynamics of Compline in their own right can create a potential for encounter with the Divine. The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber’s understanding of encounter is used to show that the sound/musical phenomena in itself bears similarities with the nature of the Judeo/Christian God, and such a nature is revealed to be both irreducibly non-conceptual as well as an entity that establishes the ontological actuality of one’s being. Studies in the beginnings of humanity at large as well as the beginnings of the individual fetus reveal that an integrated expression of music and ritual can be said to have formed the impetus of such ontological beginnings through encounter. Therefore, one of the first sounds heard in the womb - that of water (or amniotic fluid) - constitutes what may be an archetypal sound of encounter. The phenomenological effects of such an archetype are analyzed in the music of Into Your Hands through topics such as the loss of aural perspective, immersion, dynamic swells, ...
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An Analysis of Du cristal…à la fumée by Kaija Saariaho and Axiom Unearthed, Original Composition

An Analysis of Du cristal…à la fumée by Kaija Saariaho and Axiom Unearthed, Original Composition

Date: May 2015
Creator: Allen, John Clay
Description: Beginning in the 1970s, and aided by the advancement and an increased prevalence of computers, spectral music emerged as an important development in twentieth century music. Spectral composers, as exemplified by Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail, took the harmonic spectra of sounds as the fundamental materials of composition. The resulting music placed an emphasis on texture and gradually evolving forms. The generation of composers immediately following the spectralists assimilated their techniques into distinct and varying styles. Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho uses spectral techniques to create an aesthetic that generates form and progression from a sound/noise axis. In her piece Du cristal…à la fumée, a number of pendulum and half-pendulum gestures build up texture and form. The accompanying original composition Axiom Unearthed employs similar pendulum gestures and uses spectral techniques to generate melody and harmony in an aesthetic divergent from traditional spectral pieces.
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“Before I Die…”: Original Composition with a Critical Essay Exploring the Techniques of Six Crossover Composers

“Before I Die…”: Original Composition with a Critical Essay Exploring the Techniques of Six Crossover Composers

Date: August 2014
Creator: Trusko, Robert
Description: Candy Chang developed a public art installation where people are given the opportunity to write their answers to "Before I Die I want to ________." in a public space. I created one of these walls in Denton, TX and set it to music in a 12 minutes and 42 second piece titled Before I Die..., which combines elements of South Indian carnatic music, gospel, R&B, jazz fusion, and minimalism. The composition was influenced by the music of several crossover artists Becca Stevens, Michael League (Snarky Puppy), Nico Muhly, Poovalur Sriji, Tigran Hamasyan, and James Blake. Crossover music, fusion, and third-stream are all synonymous terms used to describe music where multiple genres or styles are authentically combined. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the balance of musical elements in crossover works as well as how specific works composed by the artists mentioned have influenced the creation of the Before I Die... piece.
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Violetting Through August’s End (Or the Sunset in Water, the Carillon-chime in Square): an Original Chamber Opera and a Critical Essay on the Trajectory of American Minimalist Opera

Violetting Through August’s End (Or the Sunset in Water, the Carillon-chime in Square): an Original Chamber Opera and a Critical Essay on the Trajectory of American Minimalist Opera

Date: December 2014
Creator: Doyle, James Joseph
Description: When the dust settles, John Adams’s Nixon in China and Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach may stand as the most important operas of the latter twentieth century. The critical essay portion of this thesis examines the trajectory of minimalist opera, from its beginnings with Glass’s Einstein on the Beach through the more romantic operas of John Adams, Steve Reich’s multimedia opera The Cave, David Lang’s musical-influenced The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, and finally the post-minimalist operas currently being staged by young composer Nico Muhly. It examines the differences between the more abstract trajectory established by the early Glass operas and the plot driven trajectory established by operas more commonly associated with John Adams, most significantly Nixon in China. Additionally, the aforementioned pieces are compared and contrasted with the author’s newly composed chamber opera Violetting through August’s End (or the sunset in water, the carillon-chime in square).
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Innocents Abroad: The Love Story of Mark Twain and Olivia Langdon

Innocents Abroad: The Love Story of Mark Twain and Olivia Langdon

Date: December 1978
Creator: Pack, Dallan M.
Description: Innocents Abroad, a musical for the stage, deals with events in the life of Mark Twain, 1867-1869, particularly his courtship of Olivia Langdon and his efforts to establish himself as a writer. It emphasizes his struggle to be true to his individuality and outspoken honesty while trying to win "Livy," the product of the society he satirized and often condemned. The book, based on actual events, contains much of Twain's humor and wisdom. The vocal score is written in a contemporary style, for various vocal combinations, including full chorus and includes piano accompaniments and chord symbols for guitar and bass.
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“Sunken Monadnock”: a Composition for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin, Violoncello, Electric Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Three Female Vocalists, and Computer

“Sunken Monadnock”: a Composition for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin, Violoncello, Electric Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Three Female Vocalists, and Computer

Date: December 2013
Creator: Harris, Joshua Kimball
Description: Sunken Monadnock is a scripted combination of three modular musical surfaces. The word “surface” is borrowed from Morton Feldman, who compared the aural surface of music to the canvases of the action painters of the American Abstract Expressionists, and contrasted it with the work’s subject, or organizational structure. Composers’ transition toward a focus on surface through indeterminate compositional techniques, according to Feldman, parallels the development of modernist abstract art. “Sunken Monadnock: Composing with Visual Metaphors” is a companion critical essay that takes the surface/subject metaphor as a starting point for analyzing Sunken Monadnock.Other visual metaphors that inspired Sunken Monadnock, and are discussed in the essay, include Shakir Hassan Al Said’s mystical semiotics, Jasper Johns’s crosshatch prints, and Wassily Kandinsky’s theory of abstraction. The circle and spiral, especially, play influential roles in Sunken Monadnock as reflected by musical applications of repetition, rotation, compression/rarefaction, and endlessness. The void in the circle’s center also comes into play. The nature of the work’s formal counterpoint requires an innovative approach to the score, which consists of five sections, each of which reflects a different approach to the aural surface (i.e., to the traversal of time). The two outer sections are traditionally scored, but the three ...
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Mysterium Cosmographicum, for Orchestra, Narrator/Actor, and Computer Music on Tape

Mysterium Cosmographicum, for Orchestra, Narrator/Actor, and Computer Music on Tape

Date: December 1989
Creator: Keefe, Robert Michael
Description: Mysterium Cosmographicum is a musical chronicle of an astronomy treatise by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). Kepler's Mysterium cosmographicum (Tubingen, 1596), or "Secret of the Universe," was a means by which he justified the existence of the six planets discovered during his lifetime. Kepler, through flawless a priori reasoning, goes to great lengths to explain that the reason there are six and only six planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) is because God had placed one of the five regular solids (tetrahedron, cube, octa-, dodeca-, and icosahedron) around each orbiting body. Needless to say, the publication was not very successful, nor did it gain much comment from Kepler's peers, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and Tycho Brahe (1546-1601). But hidden within the Mysterium cosmographicum. almost like a new planet waiting to be discovered, is one of Kepler's three laws of planetary motion, a law that held true for planets discovered long after Kepler's life-time. Mysterium Cosmographicum is a monologue with music in three parts for orchestra, narrator/actor, and computer music on tape. All musical data structures ape generated via an interactive Pascal computer program that computes latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates For each of the nine planets as seen From ...
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Vox Organalis

Vox Organalis

Date: December 1989
Creator: Baczewski, Philip
Description: Vox Organalis is a concerto for organ and orchestra. It employs an ensemble comprising the compliment of wind, percussion, and string instruments normally available within a contemporary symphony orchestra with augmented brass and woodwind sections. It is intended to be performed with a large organ such as might be found in a symphony hall or large church. The work is in two movements, and its intended performance time is twenty-five minutes. Use of the concerto format within Vox organalis results in a new approach to organizing the interaction between the solo part and the orchestral accompaniment. The organ part is notated in traditional metered notation, but the orchestral notation is organized in units of clock time (seconds). The horizontal spatial arrangement of the orchestral notation corresponds to the timing of the metered organ part. Pitch organization in Vox Oraanalis is derived from a twelve-tone row based upon the natural harmonic series. Several techniques of serial composition were used to organize and select elements of the tone row for use in the construction of the work. Use of the tone row for horizontal and vertical pitch structures provides unity to the pitch organization of the work. Vox Organalis is constructed in ...
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Sacred Symphony

Sacred Symphony

Date: August 1989
Creator: Lemieux, Glenn C. (Glenn Claude)
Description: Sacred Symphony is a work for orchestra, chorus and 8 soloists. It is scored for three horns in F, three trumpets in B flat (1st doubling trumpet in C), tenor trombone, bass trombone, percussion, celesta, piano and strings. The percussion consists of suspended cymbal, glockenspiel, vibraphone, marimba, bass marimba, tenor drum, snare drum, bass drum, two slit drums (4 tom-toms if unavailable), small triangle, and finger cymbals. The work is in three movements: Sanctus, Beatitudes (Matt. 5: 3-12) and Gloria. The Sanctus primarily gives glory to God the Father while the Beatitudes are Christ's own words. The Gloria acts as a culmination of the previous two movements because it gives glory to both the Father and the Son.
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Night of Glass

Night of Glass

Date: May 1988
Creator: Sanders, Gregory L. (Gregory Lynn)
Description: Night of Glass is for chamber orchestra with an estimated performance time of 14 minutes. The instrumentation for the work, using one player per part, is Flute (also small glass wind chimes), Oboe (also 1 tuned water crystal), Clarinet in A (also small glass wind chimes), Bassoon (also 1 tuned water crystal), Horn in F (also 1 tuned water crystal), Trumpet in C (also 2 tuned water crystals), Percussion (Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, Chimes, Bell Tree, Hammered Dulcimer, 3 Suspended Cymbals, 1 Large Tam-tam, 4 Roto Toms, 3 Tympani), Piano, 1st Violin, 2nd Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass, While not programmatic, the work is divided into six sections each expressing a predetermined emotional content: fragility, anxiety, solitude, fear, catharsis, and reconciliation. All are emotional contents which are found in the dream-state that is reflected in the work's title. All aspects of Night of Glass (i.e., pitch material, form structure, and structural density) are centered around the unifying factor of emotional projection within each section. The work seeks emotional content through the expansion of composition procedures while being accessible to listeners.
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Cenotaph: A Composition for Computer-Generated Sound

Cenotaph: A Composition for Computer-Generated Sound

Date: August 1990
Creator: Rogers, Rowell S. (Rowell Seldon)
Description: Cenotaph is a work of fifteen minutes duration for solo tape realized on the Synclavier Digital Music System at the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia. All of the sound materials in the work consist of resynthesized timbres derived from the analysis of digital recordings of seven different human voices, each speaking the last name of one of the Challenger astronauts. The work's harmonic resources are derived in a unique way involving partitioning of the octave by powers of the Golden Section. The work is in a single movement divided into three sections which function as prologue, action, and epilogue, respectively. This formal structure is reinforced by differentiation of harmonicmaterials and texture. Although Cenotaph cannot be performed "live" and exists only as a recording, a graphic score is included to assist analysis and study.
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I, Blavatsky: A One-Act Opera

I, Blavatsky: A One-Act Opera

Date: May 1990
Creator: Cooper, Steve, 1951 Dec. 4-
Description: I, Blavatsky is a one-act opera based on the life of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a nineteenth-century Russian princess and co-founder of a religious organization called the Theosophical Society. The libretto, by the composer, involves a cast of three principal soloists and minor roles for six more singers who are also participants in a small chorus. The text format features free verse alternating with regular, rhymed strophes. Accompaniment is provided by a piano. Melodic structure combines some nineteenth-century Romantic idioms with twentieth-century style. Most of the melodic and harmonic material was intuitively composed to express the text. Rhythmic and stylistic contrasts are accomplished in the representation of the extensive travels of the main character. Stage directions involve a stylized set, several scenes requiring minimal set changes, magical effects to represent that facet of Blavatsky's life, and onstage costume changes for several characters. Approximate duration is one hour.
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Let Me Make it Simple for You

Let Me Make it Simple for You

Date: May 1990
Creator: Waschka, R., 1958-
Description: Discusses the creation and performance at a concert on Feb. 12, 1990, in the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater at the University of North Texas of three computer music-intermedia compositions: Shakespeare quartet for 4 acoustic guitars; A noite, porem, rangeu e quebrou, for instrument of low pitch range, tape and computer; and Help me remember, for performer, Synclavier, interactive MIDI computer music system and slides.
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A Voice Crying in the Wilderness: An Opera Based on the Life of John the Baptist

A Voice Crying in the Wilderness: An Opera Based on the Life of John the Baptist

Date: August 1987
Creator: Irvin, Nat, 1951-
Description: "A Voice Crying In The Wilderness," an opera in two acts, is written for baritone soloist (John) and chorus with minor singing roles for two sopranos, mezzo soprano, tenor, a major speaking role for male falsetto voice, and three lesser speaking roles for tenor voices. Members of the chorus are required to play an assortment of percussion instruments and must be able to dance in contemporary modern dance styles. The opera is scored for large string orchestra, amplified solo viola, two electronic "digital" keyboards, and a large assortment of percussion instruments. (The keyboard scores were conceived using the "CZ-1" model digital synthesizer by Casio and the "KORG DW 8000" digital synthesizer.) The opera is divided into two acts and is approximately 80 minutes in duration. Each act consists of a combination of very broad scene complexes made up of dances, recitatives, choruses, instrumental interludes, arias, and rituals. There is a short intermission between the two acts.
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Archetypal Dreams

Archetypal Dreams

Date: August 1987
Creator: Hanson, Dan L.
Description: In the composition Archetypal Dreams, musical imagery is created through motifs and ideas that represent the symbolic messages of the unconscious. These motifs are introduced, developed, transformed, and overlapped in contrapuntal dialogue. This unfolding of material grows in significance and complexity building to a resolution of tension. The relationship of motifs to the row is re-established and the row is reconstructed. In this manner the conscious and unconscious elements of the personality are symbolically reconciled. The four movements of the work are entitled: I. Primordial Images; II. Archaic Remnants; III. Mythological Motifs; IV. The Process of Individuation
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Blueline Concerto: Critical Essay

Blueline Concerto: Critical Essay

Date: August 2013
Creator: Lamb, Christopher
Description: 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.
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Mobiles

Mobiles

Date: August 1997
Creator: Whitworth, Clifford K. (Clifford Kirk)
Description: 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.
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Persistence: for Wind Ensemble

Persistence: for Wind Ensemble

Date: August 1997
Creator: Rickwood, Christopher M.
Description: 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.
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Matador

Matador

Date: May 1998
Creator: Patino, Julio
Description: 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.
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A Wedding Ceremony: Processional, Kyrie, Alleluia!, Hosanna!, Recessional

A Wedding Ceremony: Processional, Kyrie, Alleluia!, Hosanna!, Recessional

Date: May 1998
Creator: Cieminski, Theresa
Description: A Wedding Ceremony is a composition of approximately 17 minutes in duration and is scored for horn in F, two trumpets in B-flat, trombone, two percussionists (timpani, roto toms, chimes, snare, triangle, suspended cymbal), 2-part boys choir, female soprano, and organ. The work consists of five parts of a mass, the Processional, Kyrie, Alleluia!, Hosanna!, and Recessional, with texted sections being taken from the Latin mass. The work is intended for a sacred wedding service of any denomination. The work was composed with the traditional aspects of the Latin mass in combination with a contemporary setting.
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