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Title: Abstracting the Concrète: Sonic Storytelling and Abstract Narrative in the Compositional Process
Authors: Weinberg, Alyssa
Advisors: Dennehy, Donnacha
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: ableton
gestural music
Subjects: Musical composition
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: I consider myself to be a gestural composer, and tend to work with texture and color as primary motivic materials. I work in the abstract to create broad shapes and gestures that gradually get fine tuned and filled in, eventually resulting in the “notes.” Because of this process, I have a natural inclination to respond to works of visual art as a catalyst for inspiration in my music, especially works that play with altered perception. Beyond responding to external visual works, I use visual sketching as a tool to “improvise” and sculpt the form of a piece. In this dissertation I detail the connection between the visual arts, surrealist principles, and compositional philosophies which deprioritize pitch. I discuss the writings of composers Pierre Shaeffer, Helmut Lachenmann, and Kaija Saariaho in support of these connecting elements, using these conclusions to inform the discussion of my own music. I have found strings and percussion to be the two mediums most conducive to the exploitation of surrealist characteristics, and in this dissertation I analyze a number of my own works in support of this position. The primary works discussed are Table Talk, Caligo, Pieces of Light, and ISOLA. Each of these works prioritize in their own way themes and priorities of altered or distorted perception.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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