Whittle, James (2012) Composing and devising music theatre. MA by research thesis, University of York.
The commentary for the portfolio is a theoretical, research-based explanation of the eight pieces contained in the portfolio, all of which were composed with the hypothesis that the visual aspect of musical performance is as important, and is as performative as, the aural aspect.
The portfolio explores the use of text in musical composition by setting texts, and charting a progression from scores using conventional musical notation (‘Oh mihi, Duncia!’, ‘um’, ‘Brainbow mouse’), to those using verbal notation (ahamkara, ‘geneRic speCtator, ‘five tableaux for five musicians’). ‘Cornucopian cloud’ is situated at the half-way point between these two, using a graphical cue notation for physical communication between players alongside specific musical material, while the final piece, ‘nothing new’, compresses the transition from musical to verbal notation into its concept and structure.
This progression is the primary research concern of the pieces’ composition, as seen in the focus on the act of making performance which shifts from composer to performer. The incorporation of text into the compositional process through a process of assimilation is analysed, as explored through the creation of scores for devising pieces of music theatre. Devising is considered as the function of the score as a textual stimulus for performers. Consequently, all the pieces require improvisation, except ‘Brainbow mouse’; all are visual, physical pieces.
A supplementary theme pervading the portfolio is the influence of ‘Surrealist intentions’, to quote Nicolas Calas: the idea that two objects, which may not be expected or thought of as being similar or related, but which can be seen to have an interactive relationship through their juxtaposition. In this light words and music, words and movements, and music and movements, are considered, alongside the existence of an artwork’s ‘self’.
|Item Type:||Thesis (MA by research)|
|Keywords:||composing devising music theatre text context performance|
|Department:||The University of York > Music (York)|
|Deposited By:||Mr James Whittle|
|Deposited On:||13 Nov 2012 16:29|
|Last Modified:||13 Nov 2012 16:29|
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