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- 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.
- 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.
- Snow Spell: An Interactive Composition for Erhu, Flute, Piano, Cello, and Max/MSP
- Snow Spell is an interactive composition for erhu, flute, cello, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. This one-movement piece, Snow Spell, is intended to depict the beauty of a snow scene by presenting four different impressions of snow envisioned by the composer through music. The definition, history, and significance of interactive music are explored. Various modes of interactivity to control signal processing modules, and technical considerations for signal routing and level control in the interactive computer music system are also explored. Chinese music elements in Snow Spell including pentatonic scales, glissandi, and quotations from the Chinese folk tune River of Sorrow are investigated.
- 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.
- Source-bonding as a Variable in Electroacoustic Composition: Faktura and Acoustics in Understatements
- Understatements for two-channel fixed media is a four-movement study of the sonic potential of acoustic instruments within the practice of electroacoustic studio composition. The musical identity of the entire composition is achieved through consistent approaches to disparate instrumental materials and a focused investigation of the relationships between the various acoustic timbres and their electroacoustic treatments. The analytical section of this paper builds on contemporary research in electroacoustic arts. The analysis of the work is preceded by a summary of theoretical and aesthetic approaches within electroacoustic composition and the introduction of primary criteria of sonic faktura (material essence) used in the compositional process. The analyses address the idiosyncratic use of the concept of faktura to contextualize and guide the unfolding of the work. The reconciliation of the illusory electronic textures and the acoustic sources that parented them may be considered the ultimate goal of Understatements.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Syncretisms for wind quintet and percussion: A study in combining organizational principles from Southeast Asian music with western stylistic elements.
- Syncretisms is an original composition scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and marimba (2-mallet minimum, 4 recommended) with an optional percussion part requiring glockenspiel and chimes, and has an approximate duration of 6 min. 45. sec. The composition combines modern western tuning, timbre, and harmonic language with organizational principles identified in music from Southeast Asia (including music from cultures found in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia). The accompanying paper describes each of these organizational principles, drawing on the work of scholars who have performed fieldwork, and describes the way in which each principle was employed in Syncretisms. The conclusion speculates on a method for comparing musical organizational systems cross-culturally.
- 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.
- La Primavera: Concertino for English Horn and Chamber Orchestra
- La Primavera: Concertino for English Horn and Chamber Orchestra is a work in a traditional chamber orchestra instrumentation: single woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon), two French horns, trumpet, timpani and strings. A through-composed work of 14 minutes in duration, the Concertino is conceptually based on the idea that spring is not the first of the seasons, but rather the last. As a result, all of its motivic materials are organically linked to one another, and function as paired forces that struggle for supremacy. The introduction of the third motive functions as a motivic synthesis, since it contains intrinsic elements of previous motives. There are several important compositions based on the topic of the seasons among them we find: Vivaldi's Concerto Grosso Le Quatro Staggione, Haydn's oratorio The Seasons, and Piazzola's chamber work Las Estaciones. While researching this topic, the conceptual dilemma of spring as the last season was considered. This became a turning point in the compositional process strong enough to consider the spring as a singular topic of interest. The analysis of this work through Derrida's Deconstruction theory first came to me while reading Rose Rosengerd Subotnick's Deconstructive Variations: Music and Reason in Western Society. The Linguistic approach, was inspired in part by Leonard Bernstein's lecture “The Unanswered Question,” and Jean J. Nattiez's Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music.
- ...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.
- Techniques of Sensual Perception: The Creation of Emotional Pathways
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Some artists strive to create artwork that has aesthetic value. If a piece of artwork has the ability to capture the attention of an audience, it must contain strong sensual attributes. Thus, understanding how to design an art form to contain strong sensual attributes may increase the possibility of an aesthetic experience. Since aesthetics is an experience of sensations perceived when in contact with a creative form in any artistic discipline, it is necessary for an artist to understand the nature of the sensual experience. In understanding the sensual experience, artists may be able to create techniques to enhance the aesthetic experience of their work. My video piece, entitled Ararat is a study of methods to enhance the sensual experience. I hope to accomplish this by means of using techniques that optimize an audience's perceptual experience.
- 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.
- 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.]
- 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.
- Systematic Composition and Intuition in a Concerto for Organ and Orchestra
- Historically, composers have used methods in addition to inspiration in writing music. Regardless of the source materials they used, composers ultimately rely on their musical sensitivity to inform the compositional decision-making. Discuses the rotational aspects of decimals that are created from certain prime-number denominators, and focuses on the prime number 17. Shows how these decimals can be transformed by converting them to different number bases. Looks at the Golden Proportion and its use in creating formal structures. Examines compositional and aesthetic issues arising from using number series to generate the pitches, rhythms, and sections in the Concerto for Organ and Orchestra. This process of composition reveals musical gestures that may not have been discovered using more intuitively based approaches to composition. Shows how musical sensitivity was necessary in shaping the numerically derived material in order to create aesthetically satisfying music.
- Tele: Using Vernacular Performance Practices in an Eight-Channel Environment
- Examines the use of vernacular, country guitar styles in an electro-acoustic environment. Special attention is given to performance practices and explanation of techniques. Electro-acoustic techniques-including sound design and spatialization-are given with sonogram analyses and excerpts from the score. Compositional considerations are contrasted with those of Mario Davidovsky and Jean-Claude Risset with special emphasis on electro-acoustic approaches. Contextualization of the piece in reference to other contemporary, electric guitar music is shown with reference to George Crumb and Chiel Meijering.
- 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.
- 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.
- Till Millennial Kingdom: A Composition for Trumpet, Three Percussionists, and Tape
- Till Millennial Kingdom is a single-movement composition, eleven minutes in length, combining a trumpet, three percussionists, and tape. Throughout this text, use of the word "tape" will refer to pre-recorded audio on compact disk. This is also a programmatic composition, in that it uses music to depict a non-musical event. The form and instrumentation of Till Millennial Kingdom create a musical depiction of natural and supernatural events as they relate to biblical prophecy. The trumpet makes a significant thematic contribution throughout the work and particularly during the end of the piece. The use of percussion grants an element of rhythmic agitation, and the tape part provides a musical canvas upon which all sonic elements of the work are arranged. The combination of percussion and electro-acoustic gestures represents the programmatic concept of wrath and tribulation. Ironically, the closing stages of this work musically represent the beginning of eternity.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Secret Art of Science: An Aural-Based Analysis of Jonty Harrison's Acousmatic Work "Pair/Impair"
- This paper observes the problems that impede meaningful analysis of form and structure in modern music, specifically electronic music. The premise of this research is to present methods, tools and practice for analyzing music whose visual interpretation, if any, do not represent the aural result of the composition. The means for suggesting a method are derived from documented observations in aural psychology, as well as composers' writings about musical perception. The result is an analytic model that focuses on the aural experience rather than the composers' compositional strategies which do not always agree with the resultant composition. The results from the analysis of music by Parmegiani, Harvey, Vega and Harrison help prove the general applicability of this research.
- UNRAVEL: Acoustic and Electronic Resynthesis
- UNRAVEL, a work for alto saxophone and interactive electronics. Examines works for saxophone and electro-acoustic music. Analyzes modes of interactivity using Robert Rowe's guidelines, with sonogram, score, and programming examples. Investigates hybrid serial-parallel signal-processing networks, and their potential for timbral transformations. Explores compositional working methods, particularly as related to electro-acoustic music.
- 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.
- Voci Lontani for flute, trumpet, percussion, piano, and string quartet: Critical essay and score.
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This project consists of an original composition, Voci Lontani, and a critical essay about the composition. In this piece, the idea of musical simultaneity is explored. Therefore, the piece focuses on the idea of contrast: between measured rhythms and indeterminate rhythms, between tonality and atonality, and between musics in separate tempos. In order to explore the significance of musical simultaneity, four important compositional concepts-the simultaneous juxtaposition of different musics, polyrhythmic structure, controlled indeterminacy, and quotation-are discussed. Also, several examples of twentieth-century music that use these concepts are analyzed in the essay.
- The Surface: A Synthesis
- This paper examines the speech-based musical realization of "The Surface" and its attempt to assimilate the poem at the structural, sonic, and expressive level. The software and analysis/re-synthesis techniques used to create timbres heard in the composition are discussed in detail. In addition to technical and structural issues, the common elements of the two art forms are considered within the context of the digital domain.
- Symphonic Fantasia Han-Kook Oui Ja-Yeon (Nature in Korea): Score and Critical Commentary
- The Symphonic Fantasia Han-Kook oui Ja-Yeon (Nature in Korea ) is a single-movement orchestral piece, which is divided into 5 characteristic sections - each section has programmatic subtitles (Rocks, River, Sea, Wind, and Mountain) and its own idée fixe motive. The degree of texture (homophonic/polyphonic), dynamics (strong/weak), density (thick/thin), velocity (fast/slow), and orchestration (emphasizing various sections of the orchestra) is determined by depiction of the subtitles. The critical commentary of the Symphonic Fantasia Han-Kook oui Ja-Yeon (Nature in Korea ) includes a discussion of form, pitch content (melodic and harmonic), and texture of the piece. The commentary also includes a discussion of the use of programmatic subtitles (Rocks, River, Sea, Wind, and Mountain) and depiction of these concepts in the orchestration of the work. A comparison with other orchestral works is added for explanation and support of the composer's concept. Some of the other composers who are discussed in this paper include Richard Strauss (Alpine Symphony), Gustav Holst (The Planets), Frank Bridge (The Sea), Aaron Copland (Billy the Kid), and Joseph Klein (Pathways: Interior Shadows).
- 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.
- 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.
- Thomas Jefferson: Life lines
- Thomas Jefferson: Life Lines is a five movement composition based on excerpts from Thomas Jefferson's personal letters. The material presented focuses on the intimate, human qualities of the man. The musical treatment of this material illuminates and amplifies different aspects of the inner Jefferson. The music is as diverse and varied as Jefferson's interests. The style, tone and form of the music are directly tied to Jefferson's words. Two fundamental components of Jefferson's being, the rational mind and the emotional heart, are musically portrayed in the introduction of the first movement. The music that follows in the first and all subsequent movements is derived from these two components. The first movement contains eight brief excerpts that highlight different aspects of Jefferson's mindset. Each of the remaining movements focuses on a single subject: The second movement, the death of Jefferson's wife, Martha; the third movement, Monticello; the fourth movement, a dialogue between Jefferson's head and heart; and the fifth movement, Jefferson's belief in the free mind. The music is presented by a chamber ensemble of twenty-two performers: five woodwinds (flute, oboe, two B-flat clarinets, bassoon), five brass (two french horns in F, trumpet in C, trombone, tuba), two percussionists, piano, four vocalists (alto, two tenors, bass) and five strings (two violins, viola, cello, double bass). Historical background for each epistolary excerpt and an explanation of the its corresponding music is found in the preface.
- 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.
- This Creature, Bride of Christ
- This Creature, Bride of Christ is a composition for soprano, alto flute, viola, marimba, and computer running custom software for live interactive performance in the Max/MSP environment. The work is a setting of excerpts from The Book of Margery Kempe, an early autobiographical manuscript depicting the life of a Christian mystic. The thesis discusses the historical, sociological, and musical context of the text and its musical setting; the use of borrowed materials from music of John Dunstable, Richard Wagner, and the tradition of change ringing; and the technologies used to realize the computer accompaniment. A score of the work is also included in the appendix.
- 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.
- A Rhetorical Guide to Ebb
- In the essay A Rhetorical Guide to Ebb I explore the diverse array of influences in art, and music that guided the creation of the composition Ebb, for 13 musicians and electronics. Of those influences, the boxes of the American artist Joseph Cornell played a particularly important role. Having based the conceptual framework for Ebb on ideas taken from Cornell, the essay, instead of being driven by a single thesis, involves the creation of conceptual boxes. These conceptual boxes emphasize the influence of the artist Joseph Cornell, along with the composers Iannis Xenakis and Gérard Grisey. In addition, a time line documenting the stages in Ebb's creation is included.
- Rete Mirabile: An Installation
- Rete Mirabile is my new installation piece combining scientific principles with live computer generated music. The title is a Latin term meaning "Wonderful Net," which I use to refer to the highly convoluted network of biological data that drives my installation. The sonification of data, computer modeling of biological processes, kinetic sculptures, and user interactivity are central parts of the installation. The paper is organized as follows: First, brief history of the forerunners that inspired my work is given. This includes a short discussion on how John Cage and David Tudor influenced current artists works, and how those works have influenced my own work. Then I review current installation works that share similarities with my own. Finally, a detailed discussion and analysis of the construction and function concludes the paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Relent: a Composition for Alto Saxophone, Double Bass, Two Percussion, and Interactive Electronics
- relent is a sacred work within the genre of interactive electronic music. the 20-minute composition is a multi-movement piece for four instrumentalists (saxophone, double bass, and two percussion) and computer that is inspired by the gospel message. relent is specifically about the gospel message that Christ died for man’s sins, rose from the dead, and through faith in him man can be reconciled to God. This project was an experiment in creating a work with a programmatic extramusical structure. in preparation for writing a piece based on Christian programmatic content, this paper presents an overview of research conducted on the intersection between art and Christianity referencing authors such as Harold Best, Nikolai Berdyaev, Hans Rookmaaker, Calvin Seerveld, Daniel Seidell, A. W. Tozer, Steve Turner, and Cornelius Van Til. This work was an experiment in trying to make very direct and specific musical ties to the narrative of the Gospel. Another highly experimental aspect of relent was in the way interactive electronics were used. Each acoustic instrument in the work has its own input and module within the Max patch, extending each acoustic instrument rather than adding an electronic accompaniment component. Additionally, non-traditional notation, both codified and real-time computer generated, improvisation, theatrical instructions, and a completely computer generated movement makes relent a piece that challenges and pushes the boundaries of current interactive electronic music.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.