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Title: Portfolio of compositions and technical commentary
Author: Torres Arias, Manuel Alejandro
ISNI:       0000 0004 7223 9918
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This portfolio and technical commentary explore various strategies for the composition of music with underlying narratives. Every piece reflects a preoccupation with lyrical melodic writing, the elaboration of improvisational materials, the use of cyclical or fixed elements, processes of constant variation, the integration and differentiation of musical materials, and an organic approach to form informed by narrativity and techniques and devices drawn from other artistic disciplines. In Ricercare (for six instruments) two different strands, each following its own path of transformation, convey an overlapped dialogue of musical layers. A similar approach is employed in Perpetuo/Súbito (for sextet), in which four distinct characters are contrasted and then later coalesce, creating a musical plot. Further examples of music formulated on the premise of characterisation are the Two Impromptus (for five players), which explore the narrative possibilities emanating from the interplay of degrees of definition and variety of materials, delineated through the amplification of their characters, and Soliloquio (for clarinet), in which contrasting gestures, derived from idiomatic features of the instrument are juxtaposed in order to construct a monologue inspired by rhetorical schemes. In pieces such as Cenzontle (for soprano and piano), Bagatella (for string quartet), and Three Preludes (for piano), lyrical lines weave a narrative thread, which is enveloped in different textures supporting the affective intention of the melodic content and thus providing lyricism and progression. In Confabulación (for five players) the metaphor of spoken dialogue is reflected in the use of two contrasting materials, which engage in a polyphonic conversation in which the relationship between voices is spared in favour of a more differential kind of writing. In the Three Lyric Pieces on Water Themes (for piano), content is generated from this extra-musical influence, via the delineation of musical images and their subsequent transformations, which are additionally inspired by the flowing syntax of literary devices in a stream of consciousness fashion. The orchestral piece Figuraciones, synthesises all of these approaches, formulating a musical plot based on the metaphorical transformations of fundamental harmonic, rhythmic and motivic units.
Supervisor: Keeley, Robert Ian ; Milstein, Silvina Raquel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available