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Title: Portfolio of compositions with technical commentary
Author: Evernden, Paul
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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The seven pieces in this portfolio explore different modes of ‘narrative' musical development and display an increasing preoccupation with finding ways of integrating quarter-tonal and equal tempered material. Over the course of my portfolio I have largely allowed the material itself to drive the overall shape of the music, which has led me away from notions of closed form and linear narrative to something closer to Adorno’s idea of musique informelle, whereby the material “constitute[s] itself in an objectively compelling way, in the musical substance itself and not in terms of external laws”. 'Like memory of music fled ...' (2009) alludes to a musical fragment from the Paean of Athenaios found at Delphi and makes use of modal writing. In this quintet foreground and background are constantly blurred. On parted lips (2010) treats the voice as an instrument and is an investigation into the changing nature of an individual’s role within an ensemble. The song cycle Seven songs (2011) is constructed from a seemingly disparate combination of repetition by diminution and un-pitched/percussive material alongside plainchant and imitative textures. The narrative is often mechanistic and relies on offbeat accents to propel the music forwards. In her little room (2011) – a foray into both the world of music theatre and electronics – sets out to incorporate quarter-tones alongside equal temperament material. Here an electronic programme is used both to stretch and magnify the acoustic possibilities of the violin in a dramatic setting. The string quartet Enveloped Time (2011) inhabits a rarefied world of harmonics, ‘air sound', and quarter-tonal harmony almost exclusively in the high treble and built around a nucleus of central chords, that are then rendered unstable through an incessant harmonic ‘splintering’ and blurring of pitch levels. Close in ethos to Musique informelle, my ensemble work Beata Luna (2011) is based upon two fragments of plainchant: Beatus Hugo Piscator Dei and Alleluia Christus Resurgens. The harmonic language arose as an attempt to achieve a stable synthesis between quarter-tonal and equal- tempered material whilst the development of the musical narrative is sought by predominantly vertical means. My explorations into canonic form and the music of Aldo Clementi led me to compose In memoriam Aldo Clementi (2012) for 21 players. In essence a summation of my previous compositional pursuits, this piece also delves into the constructive potential of canon.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available