Alvarez Munoz, Pedro (2013) A situational approach to composition. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This commentary presents my compositional work of the last two years. It consists of musical pieces that follow a formal approach emphasising static, self-enclosed musical situations. Designed to avoid processual ways of formal organisation, these pieces present collections of rich instrumental textures that do not evolve; they point toward a music of 'being' rather than 'becoming'.

Drawing on conceptual traces from discussions of Karlheinz Stockhausen's 'moment form' and Helmut Lachenmann's ideas of 'sound as state'; on musical traces from Morton Feldman and Aldo Clementi, and reflecting on similar approaches by contemporary referents such as Harald Muenz and Bryn Harrison, I seek to contextualise the formal aspects of my own compositional practice comprised in what I call a 'situational' approach.

A detailed observation of the musical material and modes of inner organisation used in the construction of these pieces will be necessary in order to reveal the features that give situations their characteristic sense of stasis.

I also seek to explore different effective ways of formal organisation based on the co-existence of situations. I do this by means of juxtaposing either single such situations, or several instances of them, reoccurring in different combinations. Both formal approaches seek to emphasise the syntactic independence and lack of relations of consequence between such segments.

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