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.
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.
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 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.
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.
...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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This thesis explores the possibilities of communication in the context of a sound composition. In RevealingReveilingReveling, a series of questions concerning communication posed by John Cage, coupled with an extension of those questions posed by myself, are set to recorded sounds-in-the-world. The intention is to create a greater awareness of that which there is to listen in our world. The first part of this essay discusses influences of philosophical thought during the process of composing RevealingReveilingReveling. Two distinct twentieth-century thinkers that have impacted the creation of this piece and their areas of thought are Martin Heidegger: language and Being; and John Cage: sound, silence, and awareness. The second part of the essay is a structural analysis of the piece, discussing the recording of Cage's questions, sounds-in-the-world, sound-manipulation techniques and thought-processes, as well as periodic mention the aesthetic decisions made.
Symphony No. 1 is an orchestral composition for twenty-four instrumental groups without percussion instruments. It was composed with Algorithmic Composition System software, which gives driving forces for composition to the composer through the diverse compositional methods largely based on physical phenomena. The symphony consists of three movements. It lasts about sixteen minutes and twenty-six seconds--five minutes and twenty-two seconds for the first movement, five minutes and forty seconds for the second movement, five minutes and twenty-four seconds for the third movement. Most musical components in the first movement of the symphony are considered embryos, which gradually begin developing through the second and third movements.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rhapsody for Piano and Small Orchestra is a one-movement composition in a concerto fashion for seventeen players, and is about nine minutes in duration. The overall form of this work is A B C D E D1 C1 B1 A1. This work contains various hidden compositional devices such as the golden section principle and a palindrome structure. These devices are applied not only to the structure of the work, but also to the pitch related and rhythm-related matters. Also, certain melodic and rhythmic cells are employed for each section in the developmental procedure of that section almost exclusively. Since this work is a concerto-like piece, there are two cadenza-like passages for the piano with an accompanying solo instrument, which plays the obbligato passage. The following essay addresses the form, pitch materials, harmony, rhythm and technical difficulties, orchestration, and variant elements between the corresponding sections used in this work.
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.
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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.
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.
This dissertation contains five chapters: 1. Introduction, 2. Basic Digital Processing Used in Summer Rain, 3. Part I Summer Rain - Dawn, 4. Part II After the Summer Rain and 5. Conclusion. Introduction contains a brief historical background of musique concrète, Electronische Musik, acousmatic music and music for instruments and tape, followed by basic descriptions of digital technique used in both parts of Summer Rain in Chapter 2. Also Chapter 2 describes software used in Summer Rain including "Kawamoto's VST," which is based on MAX/MSP, to create new sounds from the recorded samples using a Macintosh computer. In both Chapter 3 and 4, Kawamoto discusses a great deal of the pre-compositional stage of each piece including inspirational sources, especially Rainer Maria Rilke's poems and Olidon Redon's paintings, as well as her visual and sound imageries. In addition Chapter 3 she talks about sound sources, pitch, form and soundscape. Chapter 4 contains analysis on pitch in the piano part, rhythm, form and the general performance practice. Chapter 5 is a short conclusion of her aesthetics regarding Summer Rain, which is connected to literature, visual art and her Japanese cultural background.
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.
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.
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