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Blue Dragon, White Tiger: The Paradox of Flux and Flow in Sound Art and Martial Arts

McEvoy, Caterina (2019) Blue Dragon, White Tiger: The Paradox of Flux and Flow in Sound Art and Martial Arts. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This portfolio consists of seven works: five electroacoustic compositions and two longer durational sound art installation works, which are products of practice-based research. The written commentary explores concepts and ideas found in Chinese aesthetics and Eastern philosophy and links to a discussion of the creative process behind the pieces. As a seasoned martial artist, I find I connect my own practice and experience to my compositional processes. The malleability of movement and change is a key aspect of my earlier works, and transformation becomes key in the later sound art installation pieces in this portfolio. The titles of some of the works are influenced by chapters in the Dao de jing (168 BC) or Book of Changes, which created a context for exploration of Daoist principles as part of my creative process. The principles of transition and flux are of interest to me both as a sound artist and martial artist. The interaction between energy and oscillatory phenomena are prevalent to both martial arts (Yin and Yang) and electroacoustic music (where one might situate and navigate sound through a series of polar opposites). As an artist, I often question how we come to grips with something that is in a state of constant flux. Flux is a maelstrom of material; its counterpart, flow is the state where comprehension of flux is manageable. Sound art can be considered as being in a state of constant sonic flux, as a force, an energy, which through apprehension and understanding leads to flow. Hence the compositional approach has been one which involves indeterminate procedures, ‘free improvisation’ and spontaneous expression as reflected in Daoist philosophy. This workflow is rooted in similar practice to martial arts, intuitive aesthetic practices that move between states of flux and flow and which embody Dao.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Music (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.798088
Depositing User: Miss Caterina McEvoy
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 11:29
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2020 10:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25751

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