Morales-Ossio, Cristian (2019) Recursive Dynamics Embedded in the Core of Extended Compositional Practices. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Recursion is a widespread term found in varied disciplines such as computer science,
mathematics, linguistics, and psychology, among others. From the sociological point of
view, recursion relates to the notion of self-organisation first introduced by Immanuel
Kant and then revised into systems theory. In music, the term has been studied to
describe the poiesis of musical structures that refer to themselves (self-similarity), from
their basic elements up to complex shapes such as phrases or sections. On the other
hand, for many researchers in cognition, creative acts occur beyond individuals. In the
frame of contemporary music, creativity has not only been seen through the composer’s
prism but also through the active participation of performers in the artistic process.
Indeed, researchers such as Clarke, Doffman, & Lim (2013), Fitch & Heyde (2007), and
Gorton & Östersjö (2016) have analysed creative collaboration in composition and
emphasised recursion as a property emerging from the core of ecological societies
engaging composers and performers. Yet although many composers systematically carry
out collaborative works in their creative process, only a few attempts at formalising
multidimensional approaches on recursion have been developed so far. This thesis
presents several attempts to develop two key concepts present in various dimensions of
my compositional thinking: recursion, as an operative and interactive quality; and the
idea of an ‘extended compositional practice’, understood as a coupling system in which I
carry out effective reciprocities between my individual procedures and collaborative
strategies. The portfolio I present in tandem with this commentary divides into two
clusters of pieces representing two diverse perspectives on recursion in my processes:
systemic and performative approaches. This proposal supplies novel views about ways
that the musical composition can extend its traditional domains into systematic creative collaborations
by adopting recursion as a catalyser of material and human interactions. I
also provide thoughts about the role of improvisation and technologies, the nature of
musical material, and introduce some initial stage to imagine possible interdisciplinary

FINAL THESIS - Morales-Ossio.pdf - Accepted Version
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