Hybrid Bodies in Hybrid Spaces. A Composition Portfolio
AbstractContemporary technologies in general and digital technologies in particular have been at the core of the 7 compositions presented in this dissertation. Not only have digital technologies been an essential tool in the act of creating this music or have they been integral to its resulting sound world, instrumental treatment and scenographic setup, as a subject they have also conceptually been at the center of the music.
Initially the dichotomy between the real and the virtual, the dialectics of the physical vs. the digital body drove these compositions. But during my years at Harvard my interest gradually shifted from this dialectical attitude towards a more synthetical one, in which the physical and the digital merged to create a constantly shifting augmented reality of hybrid sonic or audio-visual spaces – literally and metaphorically - which are inhabited by hybrid/augmented (performing) bodies.
I believe this evolution can be tracked in an almost chronological way in the compositions presented in this dissertation. They range from a series of solo pieces for piano, midi-keyboard, live-electronics and video (Piano Hero #1-4), over a large ensemble piece (I’m your body) with electronics, to music theater pieces (Generation Kill, Mirror Box Extensions).
All these compositions have in common that they not only use contemporary technologies to create hybrid acoustic/audio-visual spaces, but that they also include moments of exposing the used technologies and, together with that, how we – the observers – deal with them. Those moments are incorporated into a compositional narrative which revolves around constantly shifting the observer’s perception of it through different mediations of the musical and the visual elements constituting the composition.
What interests me in these moments of exposure through shifting modalities of perception is eloquently described by new media scholars/artists Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito in the context of game art: If something startles the player out of immersion and into reality, out of illusion and into insight, then we have a moment of arrest remarkably similar to the instant when an antibody latches onto a virus. Suddenly, a shift in the system (immunological or ideological) occurs, and nothing remains the same.
In my music I aim to create similar experiences.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:40046418
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