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Title: Seeing is listening : portfolio of original musical compositions and accompanying written commentary
Author: Palmer, Jonathan
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis Seeing is listening, comprises a portfolio of five original compositions and a written commentary. This commentary examines the role of extra-musical visual stimuli as catalysts in the creative musical process. My research has focussed on composition, drawing stimulus from visual artworks, from the writings of their creators, and from naturally-occurring visual structures, with the overall intention of consolidating my compositional language. The Introduction is biographical and articulates a raison d'etre for doctoral study. Chapter 1: Key Influences on my Musical Aesthetic summarises the key influences of Olivier Messiaen and Henri Dutilleux, and the consequences are examined further in the chapters on individual works. It also introduces two painters, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, whose work provided extramusical visual stimuli, and a consideration of paintings as 'catalysts'. Such cross-fertilisation TI from visual to musical, links all five works contained in this portfolio, compositions that were written during the period: 2007 - 2013. Chapter 2 explores the relationship between my music and the dramatic text of Gerard Manley Hopkins in The Starlight Night. Chapter 3 marks a new stage in the development of my research: the use of a visual stimulus in the form of three paintings by Paul Klee, and discusses my musical response to them in String Quartet No 2, a substantial work in three movements. In Chapter 4, the dual stimulus of an essay by Kandinsky, which is linked to three of his paintings, forms a complex backdrop for Remeniscences/Three Pictures, a concerto for solo double bass and chamber orchestra. Chapter 5 is an exploration of the past within the present, as it examines Doom Triptych, a duo for trumpet and organ, in which the content of mediaeval paintings provides a visual 'programme' for music with liturgical content. Finally, in Chapter 6, a set of five miniatures for wind quintet is investigated; the visual stimulus for Crystal Eyes is no longer man-made and comprises inanimate objects such as rocks and crystals. Appendices, a bibliography comprising a list of the works cited, as well as texts referred to conclude the commentary. Also included in the portfolio are audio recordings on a CD of all five works, and one DVD (of Doom Triptych).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available