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Title: The artistic self : identity and self-representation in Nicholas Maw's 'Life Studies' : portfolio of compositions and critical writing
Author: Young, Toby
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 4590
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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In his article 'The Death of the Author', Roland Barthes posits that the intentions and identity of an author are irrelevant to the understanding of an artwork. Yet in his analysis of a text by Balzac, Barthes inadvertently demonstrates that there are basic thematic categories associated with an artist's identity, which are intrinsic to a work's interpretation. This thesis proposes that the author of an artwork functions as a semiotic curator, collating signifiers from within these external categories in order to reflect their understanding of the world. Taking as a case study Nicholas Maw's 1976 score Life Studies - a piece described by the composer as being based on his own life - this experiential understanding of identity and self is explored through the lens of David Hume's bundle theory, where the unified experience of self is created through the collection of a series of perceptions. This thesis hypothesises that there are five key categories of perception that constitute Maw's artistic self in Life Studies: simulacra, narrative, design, agency, and nostalgia. Methodologically, these five areas - or rhizomes - are presented through a tripartite study, in an attempt to combine the three distinct disciplines which the philosopher Gilles Deleuze believed approached a holistic understanding of reality: philosophy, analysis, and - in the accompanying portfolio - composition (creativity).
Supervisor: Clarke, Eric ; Saxton, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Musical criticism ; Identity (Philosophical concept) ; Self ; Composition (Music)