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Title: A portfolio of compositions and commentary
Author: Beers, Jean Alexandra Mercedes
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 8104
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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In this portfolio of compositions, I have explored the concept of musical ambiguity. I perceive this kind of ambiguity as an interesting and purposeful instability, created by employing a variety of techniques to arrange and manipulate complex compositional materials. Interrupting the narrative flow with unexpected, disturbing fragments should increase the expressive tension of the musical structure and narrative, thereby obliterating ‘habitual’ hierarchies of perception and eradicating a false sense of stability in the listener. My techniques include the simultaneous juxtaposition of several aural ‘viewpoints’, such as dense versus lucid textures, as well as the fragmentation and repositioning of chosen elements. In the analyses of my compositions I have made use of some ideas and terms from the visual arts, architecture and philosophy to clarify my arguments. Every musical element from tonality, texture and rhythm to structure and narrative is questioned and reinterpreted by means of fragmentation and juxtaposition with the aim of creating layers of textures and timbres. Prior to this treatment, a composition is generally begun with a musical idea, derived from my mental ‘sound library’, which already alludes to timbre, instrumentation, atmosphere, modality and provides motivic impetus. Furthermore, a lively collaboration with musicians plays an important role during the compositional process and has enabled me to find my own voice through the shaping of the experimental materials into the two orchestral works, a few ensemble pieces and solo works.
Supervisor: Milstein, Silvina Raquel ; Keeley, Robert Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available