Portfolio of compositions with commentaries 2012-2015

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Ryan, Conal Thomas
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University College Cork
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This writing forms part of a portfolio of works which gathers together notations and recordings made between 2012 and 2015. The writing divides into four chapters. The first chapter undertakes an examination of abstraction. From the proposition obtained therein, that it is possible to extend within abstraction beyond a correspondence between its terms and concrete manifestations, I ask in what way abstraction may be considered to function therefrom. The second chapter performs an analysis of radical music notations from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. The central analysis identifies what is essentially an evolution of what I call ''figuration'' throughout three non-chronological phases of Christian Wolff's notations. The chapter closes by questioning what form of understanding might yet be pursued in respect of this work given (a) its nature, and (b) the nature of our inquiry. The third chapter reflects on some of the philosophical problematics raised in the preceding chapters, at the same time as it prepares for those that follow in the final chapter. The final chapter is a record of the development of my thought appertaining to my compositional work. It sets out two case studies (prepared piano and postcard notations) before proceeding to a selected set of commentaries. Finally, the notion of the functioning of written and acoustical ''marks'' developed in the preceding commentaries is generalised as I develop an aesthetics of scriptural experience.
Conal Ryan , Christian Wolff , Erik Satie , John Cage , John Ashbery , Robert Creeley , Samuel Beckett , Arnold Böcklin , Alain Badiou , Jacques Derrida , Quentin Meillassoux
Ryan, C. 2016. Portfolio of compositions with commentaries 2012-2015. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.