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Title: Why I Like Recordings
Authors: Fefferman, Lainie
Advisors: Lansky, Paul
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Composition
Subjects: Music
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation will explore the merits of treating the recording as a musical object and goal unto itself, both from the angles of music creation and analytical thought. I will discuss the phenomena of recording as documentation of a different object as opposed to the paradigm of recording as object in its own right. I will refute claims that recorded music lacks the “aura” required of a work of art. I will discuss a style of recordings analysis that makes most sense for composers living in a highly fractured world of music making and listening, and lastly I will do a specific case study where I take several recordings of Schubert’s Winterreise and discuss them as individual art objects in and of themselves, similar in the traditionally acknowledged score-based sense, but widely differing in affect and reception. As an epilogue, I will issue a quick, but earnest rallying cry to my fellow composers and listeners everywhere. The original piece that completes my dissertation, “Here I Am,” is an oratorio in nine movements for violin, cello, electric guitar, clarinet and b. clarinet, soprano, vibraphone, keyboard, and drum set, with two additional soprano voices. It was written for ensemble Newspeak with Caroline Shaw and Martha Cluver. Here I Am is my deeply personal meditation on nine perplexing but often ignored portions of the Hebrew Bible. The music, set to the Jewish Publication Society’s plain and literal English translation of the Hebrew text, uses disparate musical genres and techniques (power chords, dreamy minimalism, folk-balladry, and performance art) to recontextualize the familiar biblical narratives in fresh light. This piece received two wonderful live performances (first in Taplin Auditorium, then at Roulette in Brooklyn) and there were good live recordings of both, but I will only feel truly satisfied with the trajectory of this work when I have facilitated its transition to a recorded object.
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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