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The Cathedral on the Marshes

Armstrong, T and Diamond, S (2011) The Cathedral on the Marshes [Composition] (Unpublished)

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This output is a portfolio comprising a score and recording of the community choral work, The Cathedral on the Marshes, together with documentation (in various media) relating to various aspects of the creative process including revisions made to the version used for the first two performances. The research investigates the degree of personal stylistic authenticity possible when creating a musical work entirely for community performance and reception; how a sense of ownership of the piece by the performers may be achieved and the nature of a close creative collaboration (with partners working simultaneously in close proximity). The key elements of the process of inquiry have comprised meetings and working sessions with the librettist, workshops with members of the choir (the materials from which were incorporated into the piece), the composition of an initial version of the work followed by its revision and focus groups with the musicians at the conclusion of the process. All sessions involving two or more participants have been recorded. The insights gained from the research reveal the degree of revision necessary to retain some stylistic authenticity whilst accommodating playing standards, repertoire knowledge, experience and understanding as well as the social function of amateur community ensembles. Close collaboration revealed the typical focus on process rather than aesthetic product and the need to prolong this stage of the process; once composer and librettist broke regular contact and ‘reverted to type’ the aesthetic product moved centre-stage- possibly causing the problematic proliferation of text in the first movement. The final insight concerns the levels of advocacy and leadership necessary for collaboration between composer and performers to occur and hence a stronger sense of performer ownership; the types of conflict Haydn and Windsor describe between the “written quality of compositions and the processes involved in bringing out… [their] sounding quality…” were clearly in evidence. [Haydn and Windsor 2007: 31] This commission was funded by the following organisations: The RVW Trust, the Britten Pears Foundation, PRSF for Music, Arts Council England and the London Borough of Bexley.

Item Type: Composition
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Music and Media
Authors : Armstrong, T and Diamond, S
Date : 2 July 2011
Funders : The Crossness Engines Trust
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 31 Jan 2013 13:04
Last Modified : 06 Jul 2019 05:11

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