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'Voodoo Tradition': Composer as Curator

Cave, James (2018) 'Voodoo Tradition': Composer as Curator. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The word ‘curate’ derives from the Latin verb curare, meaning ‘to care’; historically, a curator has been thought of as ‘one who cares for a collection’(Graham and Cook, 2010, p.10). More recently, there has been a dramatic expansion in the range of activities undertaken by curators; the term ‘curate’ is being used in more and more contexts, and an increasing number of people are referring to themselves as ‘curators’, as will later be discussed (Graham and Cook, 2010). My portfolio, which comprises four original pieces, three essays and a series of commentaries, considers whether the concept of curating is applicable to composition. I have focussed on this concept in two distinct ways. Firstly, considering the role of ‘curator-as-archivist’, I have explored the ways in which archives of sounds, texts and images can act as the basis for musical compositions. Secondly, thinking about ‘curator-as-historian’, I have explored the idea of curating as a particular mode of engagement with history, in which the past is encountered as an array of fragmentary materials, rather than as a unified narrative. A number of research questions underpin the essays, the compositions and the commentaries: - Can creative practice be used as a form of historical enquiry? - Conversely, how can historical enquiry inform creative practice? - What might it mean to think of the composer as the curator, rather than the author, of his or her musical materials? - Does the notion of composer as curator rather than author also undermine the idea of composer as solitary practitioner? Is the composer always essentially engaged in an act of collaboration, either with other living artists, or with the originators of the other texts that inform his or her work?


Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Music (York)
Depositing User: Mr James Cave
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2019 14:01
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2019 14:01
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22947

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