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Notational Strategies and Collaborative Narratives in Albumleaves for Trumpet and String Quartet

Armstrong, T and Desbruslais, S (2013) Notational Strategies and Collaborative Narratives in Albumleaves for Trumpet and String Quartet In: Notation in Contemporary Music: Composition, Performance, Improvisation, 2013-10-18 - 2013-10-20, Goldsmiths College.

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The genre of trumpet and string quartet is in its early stages. While the combination is opportunistic, given the extensive availability of trumpet and string quartets, it nonetheless presents a difficult acoustic environment. This practice-led paper presents a particular compositional response to these challenges, which has given rise to a variety of indeterminate notations and, in turn, considerable formal flexibility. As well as being guided by the acoustic peculiarities of trumpet with string quartet, the notational strategy adopted is part of an ongoing attempt by the composer to explore a more collaborative composer-performer relationship. By using a less determinate notation the intention is to widen, and investigate, the gap between score and performance, concurrently broadening the notion of interpretation and, consequently, the area over which performers can exercise creativity. This includes form, textural density, and figurative detail, in addition to traditional areas such as tempo, articulation and dynamic shading. The reified ‘work’ has now given way to the more contingent ‘piece’, a co-created space inhabited and transformed by the performers. [Benson 2003] The notations used in Albumleaves draw freely on innovations pioneered by Cage and his circle from the 1950s. While the performers involved in this paper play a considerable amount of new music, the lack of notational specificity and the formal openness of this particular work represent new challenges. Albumleaves is therefore a means of conducting research into how performers respond to the increased indeterminacy, hence increased responsibility, engendered by such an approach. The research has been documented via the Com-phone application developed by the University of Surrey’s Digital World Research Centre, which allows ‘on-the-fly’ creation of image-based narratives. The results of this research inform the development of the composer’s notation, suggesting ways in which it can appeal to non-specialist performers amenable to more collaborative working methods.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Arts > Music
Authors :
Date : 2013
Uncontrolled Keywords : Collaboration, Documentation, Indeterminacy, Interpretation, Creativity
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 04 Feb 2014 13:45
Last Modified : 09 Jun 2014 13:32

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