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dc.contributor.authorWindleburn, Maurice Anthony
dc.description© 2020 Maurice Anthony Windleburn
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the ‘file card’ works of contemporary American composer John Zorn (b. 1953). Zorn’s unique creative method for these works involves the transcribing of quotes, ideas, impressions, or instructions relevant to a chosen dedicatee (or multiple dedicatees) onto file cards (i.e. index cards). Zorn has produced 22 compositions using this process, though this thesis concentrates on a select group that includes the first two file card compositions, Godard (1986) and Spillane (1987), as well as three later, similarly executed and sounding works, Interzone (2010), Dictee (2010), and Liber Novus (2010). These five pieces I have dubbed Ur file card works, given that they include the original file card works plus those that maintain the majority of intrinsic compositional qualities that were established by the originals. In examining the Ur file card works, my thesis concentrates on two key questions. The first asks, ‘what are the relationships between Zorn’s file card works and the figures to whom they are dedicated?’. The second considers the ‘cinematic’ nature of file card compositions – as often declared by Zorn and previous scholars – asking, ‘how can Zorn’s file card works be apprehended in audio-visual, cinematic terms?’ Ur file card works are also exemplars of Zorn’s signature ‘sound block’ style. Consequently, significant consideration is given to an auxiliary question, ‘what aesthetic effects does the sound block style used in certain file card compositions have?’ The six chapters of this thesis each provide a different methodological viewpoint in order to answer these questions. The first chapter gives an overview of the file card compositional process and a history of its development, highlighting some of the distinct features of Ur file card works. This is followed by a hypertextual linking of these five compositions to the life and work of their dedicatees, as well as discourse around them. In the third and fourth chapters an idealised ‘implied’ listener is theorised who hears file card works in a hypertextual and ‘cinematic’ fashion. Zorn’s dedicatees are then used as hermeneutic windows to provide interpretations of Ur file card works. Finally, Zorn’s aesthetics, as discussed throughout the thesis, are compared to the similar aesthetic intentions of his dedicatees.
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dc.subjectJohn Zorn
dc.subjectfile card
dc.subjectmusical dedications
dc.subjectJean-Luc Godard
dc.subjectTheresa Hak-Kyung Cha
dc.subjectC. G. Jung
dc.subjectWilliam S. Burroughs
dc.subjectBrion Gysin
dc.subjectMickey Spillane
dc.subjectexperimental music
dc.subjectavant garde music
dc.subjectsound block
dc.subjectmusic and meaning
dc.subjectmusic semiotics
dc.subjectmusic and philosophy
dc.titleJohn Zorn’s dedicatee-oriented and cinematic file card works
dc.typePhD thesis
melbourne.affiliation.departmentMelbourne Conservatorium of Music
melbourne.affiliation.facultyFine Arts and Music
melbourne.thesis.supervisornameMiriama Young
melbourne.contributor.authorWindleburn, Maurice Anthony
melbourne.thesis.supervisorothernameLinda Kouvaras
melbourne.tes.fieldofresearch1360306 Musicology and ethnomusicology
melbourne.tes.fieldofresearch2360501 Cinema studies
melbourne.accessrightsThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2023-01-26.

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