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CHOREOGRAPHIC SOUND COMPOSITION: Towards a poetics of restriction

Jung, Jung I. (2019) CHOREOGRAPHIC SOUND COMPOSITION: Towards a poetics of restriction. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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In the submitted commentary, I explain the creative process behind my dance and sound compositions mediated by interactive technology. Based on my literature review, the majority of research in interactive dance was associated with gesture-driven computer music in the 1990s. As a consequence, debates and criticisms followed concerning the gestural articulation of technology, which in turn built the assumption, without substantial practical research, that this would be useful for dance composition. I find that this approach misses the aesthetic aspects of creating choreography with professionally trained contemporary dancers. For this reason I adopt a different approach than gestural articulation to control sound synthesis. I integrate interactive sound systems into the creative process of choreographic composition. To achieve this, I investigate the fundamental principle of choreography on the basis of Rudolf Laban’s choreutics theory, and also the choreographic methods of contemporary choreographers such as William Forsythe and Wayne McGregor. Based on these investigations, I use Gametrak controllers, a visible and tactile motion-sensing device, to provide choreographic stimuli. Tethering the controllers’ cables to a dancer’s body restricts the size and shape of the kinesphere. This restrictive condition primarily challenges the dancer to move beyond his or her habit during improvisations. The movements that are created result in sound composition. This is my own unique technique, which I call choreographic sound composition, for employing directed improvisation as a compositional strategy. Ultimately, I draw out not only the technological development as a compositional act, but also the holistic compositional cycle in collaboration as a composition. I explain this collaborative compositional process by adapting Simon Emmerson’s model of composition. Finally, I present my portfolio of original works to demonstrate how this research idea is articulated in practice. Locus is the first experiment with my methodology of observing how the restrictions created by the Gametrak controllers affect the dancers’ awareness of their bodies. In the following work Pen-Y-Pass, the technical aspects of this experiment are elaborated by employing visual composition as a choreographic stimulus as well. In Temporal, two chairs are used in addition to the Gametrak controllers to create double enforcement for the restriction as well as to evolve a dramaturgy. Eventually, the final work the Music Room considers the total condition of the piece – Gametrack controllers, the performance space, and the sound triggered by the dancers – as a physical enforcement of the restriction.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Rebecca Hill
Date Deposited: 31 May 2019 08:25
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 14:55


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