Matching Items (7)

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Real-time composer-performer collaboration as explored in Wilderness, a dance and audio installation

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From fall 2010 to spring 2011, the author was the pianist in twenty public performances of Wilderness, a site-adaptable dance and audio installation by choreographer Yanira Castro and composer Stephan

From fall 2010 to spring 2011, the author was the pianist in twenty public performances of Wilderness, a site-adaptable dance and audio installation by choreographer Yanira Castro and composer Stephan Moore. Wilderness's music was generated as the result of an algorithmic treatment of data collected from the movements of both dancers and audience members within the performance space. The immediacy of using movement to instantaneously generate sounds resulted in the need for a real-time notational environment inhabited by a sight-reading musician. Wilderness provided the author the opportunity to extensively explore an extreme sight-reading environment, as well as the experience of playing guided improvisations over existing materials while incorporating lateral thinking strategies, resulting from a real-time collaboration between composer and performer during the course of a live performance. This paper describes Wilderness in detail with particular attention focused on aspects of the work that most directly affect the pianist: the work's real-time notational system, live interaction between composer and performer, and the freedoms and limitations of guided improvisation. There is a significant amount of multi-media documentation of Wilderness available online, and the reader is directed toward this online content in the paper's appendix.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Recontextualizing music for social change

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"Recontextualizing Music for Social Change" proposes alternative ways through which the traditional setup of a vocal recital may be transformed into a multidisciplinary performance with a specific social purpose. This

"Recontextualizing Music for Social Change" proposes alternative ways through which the traditional setup of a vocal recital may be transformed into a multidisciplinary performance with a specific social purpose. This task might be achieved by the conscious use and merging of elements such as innovation, ritualistic significance of music, and hopes for social change.

Rather than exclusively analyzing the nature of these three elements, this document seeks to exemplify the artistic use of these tools through the description of two doctoral recitals. These performances focus on the portrayal of two specific social issues concerning gender identity: the femme fatale, and sexual identity.

The first performance, "Defatalizing the Femme Fatale: The Voice behind a Stereotype," reflects on the negative connotations of the French femme fatale stereotype. This dangerous image has been perpetuated through popular and mass media since the nineteenth century. The femme fatale has achieved an iconic status thanks to her appealing, damaging, unrealistic, and hypersexualized traits. Nevertheless, this male-constructed stereotype was actually conceived as a parody of female emancipation. "Defatalizing the Femme Fatale" seeks to create awareness of this image through a staged approach of Shostakovich's Michelangelo Suite, feminist poetry and prose, and euphonium music.

The second performance, "Un-Labelling Love: A Scientific Study of Romantic Attachment in Four Seasons," analyses the biological nature of love. According to this perspective, "Un-Labelling Love" transforms a vocal recital into a scientific lecture. This lecture examines four developmental stages of romantic love through the performance of art songs and the inclusion of a narrator, who describes the biological and psychological changes experienced by two research subjects--the performers--during these love stages. Through a plot-twist at the end of the performance, "Un-Labelling Love" also questions the patriarchal assumption that heterosexual kinship represents, by default, the unmarked category of adult pair-bonding. In summary, and based on scientific facts, this vocal performance seeks to encourage social assimilation of non-heterosexual kinship systems.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Bruegel (a composition in four movements)

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Bruegel is a four movement composition inspired by the paintings and engravings of Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569). It is scored for Bass Clarinet in Bb, Electric Guitar,

Bruegel is a four movement composition inspired by the paintings and engravings of Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569). It is scored for Bass Clarinet in Bb, Electric Guitar, One Percussionist (Glockenspiel, Woodblock, Snare, Kick Drum, and Brake Drums), Piano and String Quartet. Each movement explores a painting or engraving from Bruegel’s catalog of works and attempts to embody each piece of art through the use of certain compositional techniques.

The Cripples (Movement I) explores layered rhythms and disjunct melodic fragments which play on the idea of Bruegel’s painting of crippled men trampling over each other and stumbling. Small moments of balance are found throughout only to be lost. Patience (Movement II) is based on an early engraving of Bruegel, which depicts a lone woman who represents a virtue, in this case patience, surrounded by sin and vices. Juxtaposed textures are presented with patience eventually finding itself victorious to temptation. Children’s Games (Movement III) explores a painting which depicts a large number of children playing a plethora of different games. The movement uses graphic notation and plays with the idea of games to create a compositional “game” for the ensemble. Big Fish Eat Little Fish (Movement IV) depicts a large fish eating several smaller fish. A process is introduced which plays on the idea of increasing density and lasts for the bulk of the movement.

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  • 2016

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Negotiating music and politics: John Cage's United States bicentennial compositions "Lecture on the Weather" and "Renga with Apartment House 1776

Description

In 1975 the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) invited John Cage to write a composition for the bicentennial birthday of the United States. The result was Lecture on the Weather, a

In 1975 the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) invited John Cage to write a composition for the bicentennial birthday of the United States. The result was Lecture on the Weather, a multi-media work for twelve expatriate vocalists and/or players with independent sound systems, magnetic tape, and film. Cage used texts by Henry David Thoreau, recordings of environmental sounds made by American composer Maryanne Amacher and a nature-inspired film by Chilean visual artist Luis Frangella. The composition opens with a spoken Preface and is arguably one of Cage’s most overtly political pieces. A year later the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) and six major United States orchestras commissioned Cage to compose another work commemorating the United States bicentennial of the American Revolution. In response, he created Renga with Apartment House 1776, which follows his concept of a “music circus,” or simply, a musical composition with a multiplicity of events occurring simultaneously. Scored for voices, instrumental soloists and quartets, Renga with Apartment House is a multi-faceted work marked by layers of American hymns and folk tunes.

Cage’s United States Bicentennial compositions – and his other pieces created in the 1970s and 1980s – have received little attention from music scholars. Unique and provocative works within his oeuvre, these compositions raise many questions. Why was Cage commissioned to write these works? How did Cage pay tribute to this celebratory event in American history? What socio–political meanings are implied in these pieces? In this thesis I will provide political, cultural, and biographical contexts of these works. I will further examine their genesis, analyze their scores and selected performances, reflect on their meaning and critical implications and consider the reception of these works. My research draws on unpublished documents housed in the CBC’s archives at McGill University, the archives of C. F. Peters, the New York Public Library and it builds on research of such scholars as David W. Bernstein, William Brooks, Benjamin Piekut, and Christopher Shultis. This thesis offers new information and perspectives on Cage’s creative work in the 1970s and aims at filling a significant gap in Cage scholarship.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Artistic fusion in the piano concert: the piano recital and concepts of artistic synergy : includes two multimedia projects : Picturing Rachmaninoff & Picturing Ravel

Description

This paper investigates the origins of the piano recital as invented by Franz Liszt, presents varying strategies for program design, and compares Liszt's application of the format with current trends.

This paper investigates the origins of the piano recital as invented by Franz Liszt, presents varying strategies for program design, and compares Liszt's application of the format with current trends. In addition it examines the concepts of program music, musical ekphrasis, and Gesamtkunstwerk and proposes a new multimedia piano concert format in which music combines with the mediums of literature and the visual arts; Picturing Rachmaninoff, and Picturing Ravel provide two recent examples of this format.

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Date Created
  • 2012

Image schemata and transmedia improvisation

Description

I am interested in performance that includes multiple artistic media. I am looking for a way to communicate with other artists that can clearly express the meaning of an artistic

I am interested in performance that includes multiple artistic media. I am looking for a way to communicate with other artists that can clearly express the meaning of an artistic gesture that they can interpret for their medium. I wish to make transmedia performance art with a meaning that is clear to an audience. That meaning can be abstract. Sometimes we call art "abstract" to imply that it has no perceivable meaning. However, everything has meaning. Even if a piece of art does not have narrative meaning, we can still perceive a structure. That is thanks to our imagination. Imagination is our way of making sense of our experience. I believe that if I can identify some of the imaginative structures through which I perceive and understand my own work, I can use those structures to annotate or organize scores for improvised performance pieces. I am interested in how we understand art. One theory of understanding, which comes from Mark Johnson, involves "image schemata." Image schemata (sing. schema) are basic, abstract structures that we develop based on what we perceive from our physical interactions with the environment. We project these structures that come from a physical domain onto the mental domain. Johnson calls this process "metaphorical projection," and he calls our ability to do this "imagination." By metaphorically projecting image schemata from one domain to another, we form meaning of our experiences, and thus contribute to our understanding of the world. I believe that I can use image schemata to explain the meanings inherent in the art I make and to explain the connections in meaning between one artistic medium to another. I wish to apply this in a transmedia performance setting. First, I will analyze previous transmedia works in terms of image schemata. Second, I will make a score using image schemata for an improvised performance. Third, I will reflect on the results of attempting to rehearse that score.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Exploring dimensions in a new work for clarinet: incorporating digital sounds, movement, and video

Description

Research in fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in performance has included CD recording projects, commissions of new pieces, as well as papers on existing pieces that

Research in fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in performance has included CD recording projects, commissions of new pieces, as well as papers on existing pieces that push the performer beyond traditional playing by incorporating extended techniques, multimedia, technology, or movement. This study attempts to synthesize these ideas by commissioning a new work for clarinet and electronics that can be performed alone, combined with movement, or with an interactive video accompaniment. Primary work for this project has been the audio recording, music video, and live dance performance of the new work, entitled Agents of Espionage, which can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAZ20kCb0Qg or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94- C7wWTeKs&context;=C4063fdcADvjVQa1PpcFPv1fBtuWcqgV638q_BRacH7 XWR-xy1B7A=. The entirety of the project, including creating the music, video, audio recordings, and dance was completed on a limited budget of under $500USD, using all student performers and creators. The accompanying written document outlines the various steps for completing each portion of the project, interviews with the artists involved, including Zachary Bramble, composer; Jason Mills, videographer; and Jacquelyn Achord, choreographer; and an analysis of the music from the performer's perspective. This paper should convey ideas about how future undertakings of this sort are possible. This work has been greatly inspired by Martin Fröst and his collaboration with Fredrik Hogberg on the piece The Invisible Duet.

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Date Created
  • 2012