Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://buratest.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/10978
Title: Actions towards freedom: Theoretical and practical perspectives on improvisation and composition
Authors: Hall, Andrew
Advisors: Wiegold, P
Riley, C
Keywords: Improvisation;Composition;Complexity;Deleuze;Leadership
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: This thesis, and the accompanying portfolio of pieces, is concerned with investigating practical and theoretical meeting points between improvisation and composition. Such meeting points are evaluated alongside a consideration of ‘freedom’ in improvised music, for which a frame is drawn from George Lewis’s concepts of the ‘Afrological’ (placing emphasis on expression of the ‘self’) and ‘Eurological’ (in which the ‘self’ is explicitly avoided). It is suggested that a reconciliation of these two extremes might be found in a compositional ‘creative displacement’, which might change an improviser’s environment in unforeseen ways and thus stimulate explorations of expressive novelty. Three different compositional approaches to ‘creative displacement’ are investigated: through fixed notation, through electronic real-time notation, and through leadership in a workshop setting. In each case compositional experiments will be undertaken and documented, detailing the creation and realisation of the pieces included in the accompanying portfolio. A terminology for the theoretical consideration of these approaches will draw on theories of complex systems, the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, and various socio-musicological models such as those of Steven Feld and Charles Keil. Through an evaluation of the portfolio compositions in rehearsal and performance, this thesis will conclude that a reconciliation of Lewis’s ‘Afro’ and ‘Eurological’ can be found through the external application of limitations to improvisational creativity. Such constraints will be described as ‘creatively displacing’ if they provoke a performer towards an exploration of novel expressive approaches. In order to achieve this in practice, limitations must be carefully judged with regard to their degree of abstraction, the manner of their presentation and the nature of their notation; it will be suggested that the presence of a leader is vital in achieving this. These conclusions will lead to a questioning of conventional ideas of improvisation and leadership, and suggest a re-evaluation of indeterminacy within notation.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London.
URI: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/10978
Appears in Collections:Music
Dept of Arts and Humanities Theses

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FulltextThesis.pdfThesis text15.86 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Portfolio_Score_The_Mirrors_of_Hall_-_Tear_Gas.pdfPortfolio Score358.82 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Portfolio_Score_The_Mirrors_of_Hall_-_The_Calcium_in_Their_Bones_-_ii._Remains_of_Remains.pdfPortfolio Score314.88 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Appendix_Score_Tribute_to_John_Barry.pdfAppendix Score311.57 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Appendix_Score_The_Number_of_the_Beats.pdfAppendix Score409.59 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Appendix_Score_The_Calcium_in_Their_Bones.pdfAppendix Score814.64 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Appendix_Score_Volcanicity.pdfAppendix Score154.74 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
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