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ItemOn the precipice of some space else: an ecology of being through (with) improvisational performance processWalters, Reynold Barton ( 2020)All performance events, and particularly those of General Assembly of Interested Parties (GAIP), that I have participated in from 2014 until 2019, constitute the work upon which I have based reports, extrapolations and interpretations in text, resulting in this dissertation. The original works, in varying physical modes and carried out in wide-ranging contexts, were undertaken for their own sake, as creative imperatives. That work has come and gone across time. Documentation from this activity is a new work and experience in itself (in the making or witnessing) even though its existence stems from the original event, it is freed of obligation to simply record what happened. Writing, directly referencing or stimulated by these performative events, exists as an improvisation upon and around memory of the original work. Much, but not all, of the vast quantity and array of original work was documented, to some extent. The format of documentation exists as video, still image, audio file and physical object. As the reader will discover, the digital file containing the dissertation text also contains digital images, external video links, and is a ‘designed space’ that takes notice of the aesthetic experience of reading text in combination with textual meaning. This approach is in keeping for an examination of an holistic creative practice. There are three audio files, using source material from each year of data gathering (2014-16), and one video that together with all linked media and text, constitute the creative project. External links for the three audio files and video file can be found on pages 153 and 154 of this document.
ItemLearning Britten's Violin Concerto: a reflexive & collaborative approach to interpretationMorton, Arna Alayne ( 2019)Performance manuals are seemingly divided into two approaches: those that provide the reader technical instruction on the execution of a work or works and those that adopt a more self-reflective investigation into personal performance practice. Using a critical, reflexive approach, this thesis examines the development of a highly-personal interpretive methodology that aims to create personal authenticity in my interpretation of Britten’s Violin Concerto through the cultivation of a combined composer-performer perspective that stimulates my technical decisions, thus developing a framework I can freely apply to a variety of contexts within my broader performance-practice. Through a detailed investigation, Part One analyses significant events and experiences that shaped Britten’s early life, developing a lens to inform my interpretation of the score. Part Two demonstrates how my interpretation of Britten’s compositional craft and the specific technical decisions I arrived at in my practice supports the narrative uncovered in Part One. This study aims to provide an example to performers looking to apply a methodology to their own practice to assist in creating highly personal interpretations that attempt to honour the intentions of both composer and performer.
ItemThe impact of synaesthesia and absolute pitch on musical developmentGlasser, Solange ( 2018)This dissertation investigated the impact of synaesthesia and absolute pitch (AP) on musical development. Synaesthesia is a rare neurological condition in which the stimulation of one sense modality leads to an automatic, involuntary experience in a second sense modality. While synaesthesia is more prevalent among arts professionals, and is linked to enhanced memory and creativity, no studies to date have examined the impact of synaesthesia on musical development. A review of the literature uncovered that AP - the ability to label a given note in the absence of a reference note - was often reported to co-occur with synaesthesia. Synaesthesia and AP are thus two uncommon neurological conditions that require involuntary and stable mappings between perceptual and verbal representations. The purpose of this study was to identify the degree to which synaesthesia or AP possession may facilitate or impair the cognitive, affective, and behavioural outcomes of musical development, and to investigate the potential interaction between synaesthesia and AP for participants who possess both conditions. In order to fulfil these objectives, a mixed-methods study was devised which involved thirty-five students and academic staff members of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, the University of Melbourne (Australia). The data collected from each participant consisted of information obtained from an online survey, a semi-structured interview, and synaesthesia and AP test batteries. A cognitive-affective-behavioural model of musical development was formulated to provide a framework for the organisation of the results collected. The results of this study indicate that synaesthesia and AP initially impact musical development at a cognitive level, by enhancing memory encoding and multimodal mental imagery. Enhancements in these domains exert a developmental influence on affective states, specifically motivation, identity, and emotion. These affective outcomes influence musical behaviour, notably choices, preferences, and performance. Both enhancements and limitations to cognitive, affective, and behavioural outcomes were recognized as being influenced by the possession of synaesthesia or AP. Ultimately, however, all participants indicated they would retain their condition(s) if given the choice, with advantages outweighing any negative aspects. Furthermore, a phenomenological analysis of both conditions demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of AP cases in this study meet the diagnostic criteria for synaesthesia. While further research is needed to test and confirm this claim, synaesthesia and AP are conjectured to be phenomenological variants of the same condition. The results fulfil an important initial role of uncovering and recounting the unique lived-world experiences of these musicians, and have implications for how musicianship is taught to students who possess synaesthesia and AP. This study has broadened understandings of the effects of synaesthesia and AP on musical development, and of the complex relationship that exists between these two conditions and musical potential and ability. Findings support evidence from other areas by demonstrating a positive link between synaesthesia and memory, data organisation, and creative inspiration, while additionally expanding this link to include AP.
ItemThe body at the receiving end of political powerPopov, Bagryana Alexandrova ( 2012)This research examines the experience of the body at the receiving end of political power, focusing specifically on the experience under the totalitarian regime in Bulgaria. Entwined within this are elements of family history, and the investigation of how experiences of political repression are remembered and how physical performance might begin to speak about these experiences. Notions of embodiment and ethics are central to the work.