Collage music : the development of a language of studio composition
This thesis is intended to amplify, support and provide historical and aesthetic contexts for the concerns which I have explored and developed in my creative practice as a composer. It is accompanied by three audio CDs containing six compositions which map the development of my language of studio music, together with a further two CDs containing earlier compositions and a sixth CD containing a musical reference compilation which supports the text. The thesis is divided into the following six sections: Introduction "a brief account of my background as a composer including a summary of the composition portfolios of my previous degrees, going on to discuss my first composition for this project, The Book (1999), which is submitted not as a portfolio piece but for reference only (CD 4) "a description of the subsequent ten compositions, only one of which is submitted, Summer Nights Dream (2001), which again is intended for reference only (CD 5) " the listing of a number of influential collage pieces according to the categorisation superimposition or juxtaposition which prefaces the history of collage music outlined in the next chapter. I Collage Music: History, Context and Influence "a positioning of collage music in both historical and cultural contexts; examples are drawn from both popular and classical musics including examples of contemporary studio-based music, in effect proposing a genre-crossing history of collage music which is currently undocumented " an examination of the ways in which the structure, pace and content in my studio music have been informed by comedy. This chapter is intended to be read in conjunction with the musical reference CD (6). 2 Composition and Computers: The Landscape of Studio Music " an exploration the various ways in which music technology has been an influence on the development of my compositional language "a brief survey of the field of algorithmic composition and a description of a suite of computer programs I designed in order to generate musical material "a discussion of a system of calculating modes which I devised in conjunction with these programs " an account of 'large-scale phasing' including an examination of historical precedents in both the classical and popular music traditions for using this kind of generative system " an exploration of the notion of musical landscape as a means of pointing up a significant development in my approach to composition. 3 The Portfolio of Compositions: An Overview "a discussion of the development of my language of composition throughout the pieces in the portfolio "a grouping of my work into four approaches to form: generative landscape, episodic, rondo and fantasia " an examination of structure and gesture in my pieces. 4 Carnival of Light: An Account of my Compositional Process "a detailed account of the composition of one of the pieces in my portfolio in which I show how I have been inspired by texts, paintings, photographs and music in the creation of each section of my piece, hoping also to illuminate the thinking processes involved. Conclusion " an attempt to bring together the themes of each of the preceding sections, and to summarise the contribution I have made to the fields of studio composition and collage music " the introduction of the notion of altitude as a means of establishing a distinction between collage and non-collage music "a discussion of the issue of quotation in collage and a consideration of the relevance of collage music in contemporary culture.