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A Composer's Laboratory: Experimentalism in Albumleaves for Trumpet and String Quartet

Armstrong, T (2014) A Composer's Laboratory: Experimentalism in Albumleaves for Trumpet and String Quartet In: Composition in the 21st Century, 2014-03-05 - 2014-03-07, Trinity College, Dublin.

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This paper reflects critically on the creation of Albumleaves (2013) for trumpet and string quartet from its conceptual and aesthetic origins through the process of composition to rehearsal. Its aims are to examine certain experimental techniques in Albumleaves and illuminate the piece as a dialogue (Benson, 2003) between composer and performer, one facilitated by the score and evidenced through rehearsal documentation. Albumleaves marks a pronounced turn towards a more experimental approach to composition drawing freely on innovations pioneered by Cage and his circle from the 1950s and embracing the concept of the open work (Eco, 1989). This has resulted in a wide variety of indeterminate notational strategies and a marked turn towards abstraction, avoiding temporal structures articulated via aural ‘signposts’ (Nyman, 1999) and, instead, attempting a freer play of sonic materials. The catalyst for this shift was a desire to move away from the well known hierarchical model of musical creativity, one that tends to split composer and performer roles along creative and re-creative lines (Goehr 1992, Wishart 2002), towards a more collaborative composer-performer relationship. By using a less determinate notation the intention was 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. Having identified and illustrated points of contact with the experimental tradition the paper will then examine their limits. The analysis of audio-visual rehearsal documentation will interrogate the efficacy of terms such as ‘collaboration’, ‘dialogue’, ‘creativity’, ‘freedom’ and so on to describe how the score functions with respect to interpretation and the experimentalism of Albumleaves will be contextualised with respect to recent manifestations of the tradition, for example the music of the Wandelweise collective.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Music and Media
Authors :
Armstrong, T
Date : 2014
Uncontrolled Keywords : Collaboration, Rehearsal, Performance, Creativity, Experimental music, Indeterminacy, Open work, Improvisation
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Feb 2017 14:16
Last Modified : 05 Mar 2019 15:37

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