Grimes, Alexander Stewart (2014) In what sense can instruments and bodies be said to form spaces? Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

My recent work is an exploration of the physical and conceptual mechanisms that interface people with instruments. Central to this investigation is a conception of the performer/instrument assemblage as a symbiosis of two parallel and interdependent systems: one – the performer – moves through space established by the other – the instrument. Each system possesses its own intrinsic properties and characteristics; each possesses capacities to affect and be affected by one another. The music emanates from this contiguous interaction.

Instrument surface is understood as a compositional resource itself, a topological façade, defined by ordinal distances, that guides gestures along its contours. Within these fluctuating constellations of spatial coordinates, I consider all the relevant ways a body can move, and establish some general combinatory rules that inform the convergence of forces within the body. The traditional subjects of compositional contemplation such as form, duration, dynamic, etc. are not attributing features to the work per se but emerge as results from spatiotemporal relations of (bodily) movement’s correspondence with

(instrumental) surface and mechanism.

This liberation of movement is understood as a liberation of timbre, and the inherent indeterminacy of this relationship is embraced. As such, I would hypothesize that sound is, to an extent, freed from the subtractive tendencies of perception that might otherwise subvert it into generalized typological categories. Once liberated from the imagination, sound can bypass the brain and directly engage the nervous system.

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