Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Theses

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    Orchestral, chamber, electronic and visual compositions
    Burke, Brigid ( 1999)
    This folio of orchestral, chamber, electronic and visual compositions collectively document a research period based on experiences with performance, free and structured improvisations, technology and visual art practices. The technical and aesthetic diversity of the material arises from opportunities and resources afforded by the research program. Of the many ideas traversed in these works, the principle focus has been towards the use of extended techniques for wind instruments and experiences from live performances. In pursuing these objectives, this research charts multiple performance practices, and diverse compositional techniques through traditional acoustic music to studio electronic soundscapes. Although the ordering of the compositions in this folio suggest that the acoustic works were completed first, many of the electronic compositions were produced in between. Consequently, compositional processes tended to inform each other in complex and often subtle ways. The two orchestral works and the quintet represent instances where extended clarinet techniques have been reconceptulized and orchestrated for larger ensembles. These techniques have also found a place together with traditional styles and intuitive performance experience in the suite for clarinet and piano, the trio and the guitar solo work. The five remaining electroacoustic works represent a rethinking of acoustic sound and performance practices not found in the approaches taken with the traditional acoustic compositions. The studio enabled a focus on issues such as context and space that do not have pre-eminence in the composition phase of traditional instrumental music. This is evident in the fact that the sounds, existing as recordings, could be subject to processing and arrangements in ways that are physically impossible through traditional musical world. The sounds in the computer based context assert a need for a different compositional outlook to that presented in the previous compositions. Finally the inclusion of visual imagery is intended to convey another creative input into the process of each musical work.