Composition portfolio and commentaries

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Buckley, Irene
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University College Cork
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In an attempt to provide an analytical entry point into my compositional practice, I have identified eight themes which are significantly recurrent: reduction – the selection of a small number of elements; imperfection – a damaged or warped characteristic of sound; hierarchy – a concern with the roles of instruments with regard to their relative prominence; motion – apparently static sound masses consist of fine internal movement; listener perception – expectations for change influence the experience of affect; translation – the transitioning of electronic sounds to the acoustic realm, and vice versa; immersion – the creation of an accommodating soundscape; blurring – smearing and overlapping sounds or genres. Each of these eight factors is associated with relevant precedents in the history and theory of music that have been influential on my work. These include the minimalist compositions of Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt; the lo-fi aesthetic of Boards of Canada and My Bloody Valentine; concerns with political hierarchy in the work of Louis Andriessen; the variations of dynamics and microtonal shifts of Giacinto Scelsi; Leonard B. Meyer's account of expectation in music; cross-fertilisation of the acoustic and electronic in pieces by Gérard Grisey and Gyorgy Ligeti; the immersive technique of Brian Eno's ambient music; and the overlapping sounds of Aphex Twin. These eight factors are variously applicable to the eleven submitted pieces, which are individually analysed with reference to the most significant of the categories. Together they form a musical language that sustains the interaction of a variety of techniques, concepts and genres.
Compositions included are "escalate", "Requiescat", "Forth", "For de ereprijs", "Evolution of close double stars", "Stórr", "Miniatus", "Suaimhneas", "Rotation of the Earth", "String Trio No. 1", "The Passion of Joan of Arc"
Music , Composition , Orchestra , Vocal music , Chamber music , Instrumental music , Electronic music , Computer music , Film music , Multimedia
Buckley, I. 2013. Composition portfolio and commentaries. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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