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Phill Niblock: Identity through instability

Glover, Richard (2013) Phill Niblock: Identity through instability. In: Phill Niblock: Working Title. Les presses du réel, Dijon, France. ISBN 9782840664239

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Despite this chapter's title, the raw materials of Phill Nilbock's music are based entirely upon stability. Each
piece uses only sustained tones performed by instrumentalists who are doing all they can to retain the
parameters of their note fixed. Scores, where they exist, project only stability. The grid below in Figure 1 is
the composer's score from Five More String Quartets (1993), where the players are directed to match each
tone as it is played through their headphones; the austerity of the frequency chart suggests the immobility of
these sustained tones. The intense dynamic of each tone in a piece does not alter throughout the piece, only
with variations in density. There is little to no transformation in the timbral quality of the instrument as natural
timbral envelopes are removed, and these tones are heard continuously throughout a piece: rhythm, as
denoted by sound framing silence, does not feature in Niblock's music.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Richard Glover
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2012 11:20
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 20:16


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