Moroz, Solomiya (2020) Composing Embodied Presence in a Chamber Music Context. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis comprises a body of works, and a written commentary, which can be anchored within an expanded field of chamber music. This field embraces not only notated music but also electronics, and has a strong focus on physical gesture. The extra-musical aspect of composition with physical gestures in my works pushes my compositional concerns towards interdisciplinarity, thus challenging the ontological boundaries of the musical work. In the commentary, I examine how a process of signification with extra musical elements like physical gestures as explicit material for composition could take place in chamber music. My work necessitates collaboration in order to arrive at an embodied knowledge of technique and practice where I treat physical gestures and performers’ bodies as material for composition. Through extensive collaboration I also dislocate the implicit hierarchies within the ontology of the musical work, thus motioning towards a new ontology where performers have autonomy to make creative contributions to the work. This new form of ontology already manifests itself in my music, particularly when presented in an electronic music context with gestural controllers, which I address in Chapter 3 using the metaphor of the cyborg. The interdisciplinary aspect of my compositions with physical gesture amplifies the performer’s presence on stage, thus challenging the codes associated with the ritual of Western concert music performance.

Through the portfolio of works, I demonstrate gestural considerations that oscillate between two sensory concerns: the aural and the visual. At the end of my PhD, I embraced processes of listening in order to generate new instances of embodied movement in reaction to sound in an interdisciplinary collaboration with theatre performers. The insight from this project informs my current compositional process in chamber music where emphasis is placed on the perception of sound in a chamber music context. Thus, the ritual of concert performance also undergoes changes in order to satisfy the enquiry for embodiment and movement of sound in space.

FINAL THESIS - Moroz.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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