Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: What to Expect: Classical and Ambient Collisions Within This Binary Universe
Authors: Molk, David
Advisors: Trueman, Daniel
Contributors: Music Department
Subjects: Music
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: BT’s 2006 album, This Binary Universe, represents a major departure in compositional aims for someone whose career up to that point was rooted in EDM (electronic dance music). Here, BT states that he purposefully incorporates classical form within the album. This dissertation investigates the ways in which we might employ a classically oriented listening modality to address functional ambiguities that arise within the respective introductions. These ambiguities manifest from the inclusion of both classical and ambient-oriented processes and the tensions therein. An investigation into listener expectation provides a way to interact with the music, the processes that drive it, and our perception of these processes as we listen to the album. Chapter I examines how the overall cohesion within This Binary Universe enables comparisons not only from point to point within tracks but also across tracks. Chapter II scrutinizes the traditional role of introductions within the classical style, introducing the language of formal function and “becoming.” Chapter III offers detailed analyses of the formal function ambiguity within the introductions of “All That Makes Us Human Continues,” “The Internal Locus,” “See You On The Other Side,” and “The Antikythera Mechanism,” discussing how the role of expectation within the listening process both engenders and responds to these functional frictions. Chapter IV reframes the specific findings of the four analyses within the context of the album as a whole, concluding with a survey of how the worlds of This Binary Universe continue to resonate in more recent projects by BT. The composition component that completes this dissertation, “softer shadows,” incorporates a series of extended techniques that I've harvested slowly throughout my time in Princeton. murmur uses cardboard dowels standing in for more traditional mallets, creating a blurring of pitch and noise and culminating in a ping pong ball chorale. The second movement, fade to light, goes deeper still into these delicate worlds. These two movements allow us access to a softer shadow world. The motivation behind many of the techniques explored in “softer shadows” is my attempt to create novel acoustic analogues for electronic production techniques found within the EDM vocabulary.
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

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Molk_princeton_0181D_11869.pdf3.51 MBAdobe PDFView/Download

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.