Sculpting Shape, Time, and Motion: A Composition Portfolio

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Sculpting Shape, Time, and Motion: A Composition Portfolio

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Title: Sculpting Shape, Time, and Motion: A Composition Portfolio
Author: Cleare, Ann Bridet ORCID  0000-0003-1593-5610
Citation: Cleare, Ann Bridet. 2016. Sculpting Shape, Time, and Motion: A Composition Portfolio. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
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Abstract: My dissertation represents seven years of 21 newly produced works. The music that I compose has always been concerned with colour and energy, and my time at Harvard has very much been about widening the spectrum of how I deal with both of these properties in order to create a music of greater expressive and poetic ability. I am generally drawn towards wild, chaotic sonic matter. If I were to use an analogy from visual art, I would compare the type of focus that my work has taken as comparable to that of a sculptor, creating tools to shape sonic material into forms that I previously had not imagined. And further to this, sculpting how matter exists and moves, creating shapes and motions that evoke a unique sense of time and place within each piece.

During my Ph.D., I have produced a range of pieces from solo to chamber to orchestral works in a variety of acoustic and electronic settings, to pieces for newly-built instruments that I designed and developed, to a cycle of attacca pieces spanning two hours, to a chamber opera that involves a multichannel sound system that the singers and actors of the opera wear and interact with on stage. This portfolio offers a selection of pieces from this journey, which I see as having particular significance to the sculpting tools that I mention above.

The sonic places that I make are highly psychological ones – their primary aim is not to sculpt but rather what this sculpting can convey. They are sonic situations that think and reflect on the complexity of the lives we exist within, exploring theatres or poetries of memory, of transformation, of perception, of communication, and more, and they invite a willing listener to do the same. The quality of this poetry can be quite raw, charged, and psychological, and any type of comfort or ease is hard won. In the words of Francis Bacon: “We nearly always live through screens - a screened existence. And I sometimes think, when people say my work looks violent, that perhaps I have from time to time been able to clear away one or two of the veils or screens.” I, too, strive to remove the veils and screens.
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Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33493464
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