The Pipe Organ and Real-Time Digital Signal Processing (DSP): A Performer's Perspective
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The emergence of music for organ and realtime digital signal processing (dsp) has signalled major changes to the very nature and structure of music for the instrument, dramatically expanding its idiom and timbral malleability. It has also created new performance practices which mark substantial shifts in the relationship of the organist with the music, the instrument, and with co-performers. Finally, a new 'performative space' is emerging through organ and realtime dsp in concert situations, creating a sonic relocation of the instrument and enabling new audience experiences. This DMA examines organ and realtime digital signal processing (dsp) from a performer’s perspective. After tracing the history of the organ as an instrument at the forefront of musical innovation since the 1400s, it focuses on rapid developments over the past fifty years, leading to organ and dsp as a logical next step in the development and repertoire of the instrument. From there, the study revolves around the performance of four contemporary works for pipe organ with realtime dsp, contributing to understanding the performance practices this combination requires. Emphasising the experience of the organist facilitates reflection on the impact of changes brought about by dsp on the practice of a contemporary organist and his collaborators. In this way, this practice-led research project is able to focus on ‘realworld’ issues and insights that emerged and morphed during workshops and performances. Triangulating the findings of a literature review, interviews, workshops, and the series of performances, identifies major shifts in organ timbre, composition, performance practice and reception. The format of the submission, on DVD ROM, highlights the close connection between practice and reflection, between sounds and words. In doing so, it aims to add to the practice and understanding of the organ and its continuing role in innovative composition and performance.
Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
Audio available on request.
Realtime digital signal processing
Pipe organ performance