Routine investigations : expanding the language of improvisation through interdisciplinary interaction
The focus of this PhD has been to explore new ways of expanding the language of my improvised solo piano performances through the investigation of, and immersion in various forms of creative media. I have combined this interest with an exploration into textures found largely in contemporary classical music scores and recordings, and more specifically selected contemporary classical piano compositions. By extracting the principles of their construction in an intuitive manner, I have developed a number of models and exercises for developing similar textures in an improvisatory context'. These textures are then melded with fragments of music and film dialogue and executed in live performance settings. The recordings and the accompanying commentary are structured in a chronological format, and, when used in tandem provide a detailed record of the research whereby the reader is taken through each work in a step-by-step (and in some cases second-by-second) account. After examining a few of the works in detail, the discussion assumes a much broader approach in illustrating how the methodology has progressed toward embracing a variety of performance contexts, including working with other musicians in a number of creative settings and also the opportunity of designing a soundtrack for a silent film. This research documents the evolution of an intuitive methodology that is in a state of constant flux, which continues to have a life beyond the duration of the research period. The main achievement of the outcomes of this research was developing a disciplined, selfanalytical and flexible strategy by which to plan and execute original musical works.