Polyphonic structures : modular models and modular forms (a creative investigation of mobile musical architectures)

Malondra Flaquer, Mateu (2022) Polyphonic structures : modular models and modular forms (a creative investigation of mobile musical architectures). (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


Polyphonic Structures: Modular models and modular forms is a creative research project that 1 exploits the relations between independent pieces, structures and sonic events as self-contained moments. The dissertation describes a number of general and particular compositional strategies, techniques and constructivist explorations which are intimately related to the compositions included in the portfolio as a single body of work. The doctoral research includes a portfolio of the following compositions; Apposition (figures of disorder), Archipiélago, 24-Modular Cells, Free Module Study nº1, Systematic Double Bind and Within Modular Objects. Combining different pieces as polyphonic structures, in part or in total, to create new works, and the development of novel compositional strategies through interrelated pieces, have been explored by many composers. The most influential of these is Karlheinz Stockhausen. His ideas to interconnect pieces within a distinctive variety of compositional procedures have been the prime musical concepts from which the research dissertation and original works germinated. However the exploration of the ideas develop by Iannis Xenakis in theory of grains of sounds and Curtis Roads in Microsound has been crucial to define the modularity. Ultimately, the conception of Brian Ferneyhough’s figure and gesture has been crucial to incorporate micro-modules as self-contained singularities. Moreover, the research is an attempt to establish methodological linkages between self-contained and self-sufficient units. In this manner, the study of Bertrand Russell’s logical atomism help me to define the smaller unit in a musical context. Accordingly, modularity has been used as a key element to define the structural and analytical method throughout the dissertation. Furthermore, Gilles Deleuze and Pierre-Félix Guattari’s rhizome theory turned out to provide a valuable framework to establish a conceptual link generator.Thus, the commentary summarises a personal approach to some of the principal issues related to contextual discontinuity and multi-layer structuralism. However, no matter how vital rhizome theory has been, the use of dichotomies and the linear process has not been completely avoided.The inquiry into new forms of interaction has led the research to map possible strategies to break the traditional binary thinking and linear unidirectional processes. The documentation of the compositional techniques, concepts and structures presented in the following dissertation has the sole intention of defining a particular and personal methodological framework.

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