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Portfolio of original compositions

Tuhkanen, Timo Sakari (2019) Portfolio of original compositions. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

In the last few decades the area of touch research has become vibrant, exciting and urgent, yet research into touch in music – in the way outlined here as cutaneous contact – is close to non-existent. Sounds emanate from touch but still, touch has not been included in the aesthetics of music. Examining touch in musical literature I argue that touch is fundamental to music while music’s philosophical and aesthetic definition has excluded it. My research reveals that what were previously argued to be the main reasons to marginalize touch in music, are in fact facets of a style of music which has, so far, been marginalized because touch’s inclusion problematizes the tangibility of the musical experience. By contrasting my portfolio of original works with my literary review I demonstrate my interrogation of these marginalized facets and show how music changes by moving away from sounding description to tactile demonstration and exploration of sounding shapes, textures and resonating volumes. By including touch in music instruments become tailor-made for individual bodies engaging with and disrupting the technical skill of the musician, the score stops being a singularly imaginable picture and becomes a fragmented assemblage of tangible forms as a musical instance, which I have called the composed musical instrument. Thus, changing musical organization from the written to the assembled composition changes from writing in time to feeling the mapping of topologies and the manipulation of materials through cutaneous contact. Performance of a composition stops being stage oriented and begins at the first sound of making the composed musical instrument. Most strangely, silence, a key component of music so far, stops being necessary and listening can be done with the skin. Retaining its communicative value as a sound the inclusion of touch creates a semantic sign system that can only be experienced through touch.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Touch, Listening, Materiality, Presence, Subject
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Music (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.805288
Depositing User: Mx Timo Sakari Tuhkanen
Date Deposited: 11 May 2020 15:45
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25923

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