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Title: Sounding Severn : landscape and music
Author: Heighway, Elizabeth Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 584X
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2011
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This research project set out to investigate the landscape of the River Severn, in particular the sounds created by the interaction between the river and its environs, and to create a series of original compositions that chart the relationship between geographical site and composed sound. The questions that were posed were: what creative strategies and methodologies have composers used to engage with and represent landscape in their work? What is the relationship between site, composer, and new work? How are the impressions of the phenomena like the river, formed in the composer’s mind, then recreated as music or sound? It should be borne in mind that this has been a personal project. It has involved field recordings of the sound of the river, both under and above the water, and the recording of sounds activated by interaction with the landscape; studying aspects of the river itself, its history, underlying geology, and the complex social, economic, political and emotional interaction it has had with the people who live by it. It has also involved assembling resources on instruments not generally associated with orchestral music, to extend the palette of sounds, and examining ways of transference of behaviours such as river flow and cloud formations from the physical to the sonic. I endeavour to explain how I developed my methodologies, derived from my own observations. The major part of the thesis comprises a critical commentary on the pieces of music I have produced, showing how these methodologies were employed. The pieces and their recordings are grouped into a suite, Severn Journey; representative trial pieces; a collage piece Severn Words of Wisdom, representing a journey down the Severn and Sounding Severn, a piece in five sections which shows many of my key methodologies at work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available