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Make it Happen

Bertelli, Enrico (2012) Make it Happen. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Works for percussion are often neglected and underperformed because of instrumental unavailability, logistic limitations and notation issues. This research addresses these problems by delivering eight self-contained, adaptable and transportable multipercussion-based projects. The first three works solve these problems by using found objects, body percussion and imaginary instruments, revolving around the concept of interchangeable, if not transportable, instrumentation. The following two projects look at the snare drum as a harmonious box (a resonant body), augmenting its timbre with extended techniques - such as mallets and hybrid hand/stick techniques- and live electronics. The audio processing starts with short and crisp sounds and looks at ways to generate pitch via resonators, and how to control length with reverb. The remaining three projects focus exclusively on MIDI percussion, filling a wide gap in the repertory. These are the first works composed with this instrument in mind and not as a transcription or as a substitute for more common instruments. They cover, respectively, the areas of sampling, automated pitch randomizers and live MIDI scaling and shaping. Furthermore, the max4live MIDI patches serve as a link between the pitched and unpitched percussion, empowering the drum kit with harmonic and melodic controls. All the projects are designed to solve logistic problems and are developed as concerts-in-a-suitcase, a concept which is at the basis of my research Make it Happen. All the scores and types of notation put the performer's needs first; this is why I produced performance editions, sometimes to the disadvantage of the original composition. The graphic, metronomic and partially composed scores included in this commentary, are all drawn together by controlled improvisation. As I was constantly performing and practicing on new instruments, without an established performance practice, I used controlled improvisation to create solid structural skeletons that provide percussionists with versatile performance solutions. The commentary outlines my roles within each project and contextualises the works within the repertory. The conventional, graphic and timed scores designed in the process, have created a body of work that, by granting considerable freedom to the performer, can generate a vast repertoire of diverse realisations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Percussion, Music, MIDI, live electronics, Drum kit, body percussion, imaginary instruments, drum suit, kitchenware, Xenakis, Psappha,
Academic Units: The University of York > Music (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.570107
Depositing User: Dr Enrico Bertelli
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2013 09:25
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:01
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3672

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