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Title: A practice-based investigation of the clarinet through free improvisation
Author: Jackson, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 1153
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2016
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In this thesis I present an overview of my approach to free improvisation with particular reference to the clarinet's instrumentality (its intended function) and its materiality (its accidental characteristics). Acknowledging an influence from the clarinet, I set out to discover its role in defining the music I make. After outlining debates surrounding improvisation in terms of its compositional capacity, I then consider free improvisation in terms of relational aesthetics. The remainder of the thesis is divided into three main parts. The first part explores philosophical and practical issues related to tool-use. In chapter one I discuss observations about objects, leading to conceptions of instrumental design. Discussing the special case of artistic tools I suggest an intrinsic link between intent and possibility, considering this relationship in terms of working with an instrument's design and materials. In chapter two I elaborate on ways in which instruments can lead towards musical material while addressing issues of culture, uncertainty and relationships. I describe a veneration of instruments as guides in free improvisation and suggest subverting traditional gestures as a strategy to advance an instrument's capacity. I address issues of uncertainty and posit failure as a viable aesthetic stance, welcoming rethought into performance. Part two sees greater emphasis placed on my own praxis. In chapter three I outline uses of the clarinet with particular focus on its materiality. In chapter four I discuss recent recordings in light of the issues raised in the thesis. This part is accompanied by a DVD (also available online1) containing examples for chapter three and recordings for chapter four. After a conclusion, which provides a summary of findings alongside a discussion of my current praxis, I present part three, a recording of a final performance made on 13/01/16 with Benedict Taylor (viola) and Daniel Thompson (guitar).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: MT0339 Wind instruments