Selected Works 2009-2016

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Selected Works 2009-2016

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Title: Selected Works 2009-2016
Author: Schroeder, Sabrina Anne Brown
Citation: Schroeder, Sabrina Anne Brown. 2016. Selected Works 2009-2016. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
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Abstract: This dissertation is a portfolio of 7 selected pieces completed between 2009-2016.

Together they trace a transitional arc into the current branch of my work. Earlier pieces (Fox Bride, Slip Trains, and Bird in the Well) form something of a bridge into this transition, embodying many through-lines of my current language in an earlier form. I feel it's fitting that these pieces retain peculiarities of scoring and notational practice that have since evolved, but that accurately depict my working methods at the time. In every sense, they express this unfolding of a project.

The pieces in the latter half of this portfolio begin to incorporate performance systems that use transducers and custom-built mechanisms to extend and amplify resonances of acoustic instruments. Starting from pieces for solo performer with 'live mechanics' and developing more recently into expanding configurations of ensembles, the resulting pieces build around malleable qualities of fibrillation and pulsation, using these as a kind of live connective tissue within a body of instruments.

There is something tectonic that transducers can achieve, creating an underbelly of sound that is both amorphic and uniquely visceral. When worked into an actively layered field, they can yield an enveloping quality that is as much about body-feel as it is about audible sound. Pulsation feels inherently intimate – from the semi-regularity of blood-flow to the tremors of cells and nervous systems. There is something richly primal in this deeper morse code. Navigating this spectra largely through acoustic means is my way of digging into these very physical aspects of sound that have a permeating intensity in live performance.

This project is ongoing and includes pieces spanning this recent period that are still in progress. The pieces compiled here are those I consider finished and representative of this period of work.
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