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Title: Sonic Playground: The Influence of the Recording Studio on Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells
Authors: O'Halloran, Emma Mary
Advisors: Tymoczko, Dmitri
Mackey, Steven
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Composer
Subjects: Music
Musical composition
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Featuring a combination of folk, rock, and minimalist influences, Tubular Bells is the 1973 debut album of English composer and multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield. Not only was this album a huge commercial success, but it is fascinating on an artistic level being one of the first instances of a large-scale multi-instrumental record largely performed by a single person. Using a detailed original transcription, this dissertation will examine how Tubular Bells was created, why it works, and how Oldfield’s studio-based composition process foreshadowed a working method that is now widespread amongst contemporary composers and producers. The original composition that completes my dissertation, Mary Motorhead, is a thirty-minute operatic monodrama for lyric mezzo-soprano and amplified chamber ensemble. The work is adapted from a play by my uncle Mark O’Halloran about the secret life of an incarcerated woman who travels through her memory in search of freedom from her past. In many ways, Mary Motorhead represents the culmination of the studio-based writing process I developed over the course of my time at Princeton. Although it sounds very different from Tubular Bells, I approached the composition process in a similar way, using the recording studio as a compositional tool and this has allowed me to include all the disparate musical elements that make up who I am as a composer.
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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