Working between music and philosophy : the transforming gesture

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This thesis is concerned with the creation of unique multi-media artifacts and an analysis of the processes involved. The artifacts are built from three linked components. The first component is a music composition with a title. The second component is a short program (about one page or less) that offers a poetic interpretation of the title. The third component is the thought form, a more in-depth analysis of some philosophical or theoretical elements that are suggested by the title and program. These three elements make up each object / artifact. The philosophical texts that are generated are utilized to create a series of textual metaphors that serve as the basis of musical processes and compositional forms. The musical compositions consist of electronic synthesis and improvised or composed guitar parts. In addition to the artifacts proper the artist undertook an analysis of the working processes that went into the making of each object. The research outcomes are a series of working models that allow other composers to increase their understanding of the field. Knowledge is created in the form of new understandings of the connection between art objects and philosophical texts in connection to the “making” process. The creative process was organized into three phases, each phase containing the analyses of a series of artifacts. The process of making was subjected to a reflective logic at every level. The analysis of the creative process, and the analysis of the emerging artifacts, were utilized to augment and develop those artifacts. An iterative circle of practice and theoretical reflection was built into the structure of the thesis. The findings of the thesis are arrayed around the models of practice that were developed during this process; (1) A more complete understanding of the activity of working between music and philosophical text was produced. The techniques of past practitioners were codified and refined. (2) Tacit working modes were brought forward into the circle of discourse. Such explication produces valuable information for artists and researchers working in similar contexts. (3) Connections between instrumental logic (guitar improvisation) and blended-space components were developed. This aspect of the practice produced reflective commentary and aesthetic outcomes that outlined progressive forms of compositional and performance-based activity. From codification to refining and developing – the process of identifying actual practice and adding new elements to such are the concrete outcomes of the research.
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