Inside the performer's process: Exploring four Australian works for the viola through recordings, analysis, and reflection
Embargoed until: 2019-11-14
Embargoed until: 2019-11-14
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This research inquiry is firmly situated within the field of artistic research, where new knowledge about and within practice is gained. There are two equally weighted submission components: one being a series of sound files containing recordings of four recent Australian works for solo viola and related sonic data; the other this exegesis, which provides a context for understanding and unpacking the interpretive decisions housed in the recordings. The four works included in the research are: Liza Lim Amulet (1992), James Rushford Untitled (2012), Helen Gifford Desperation (2014) and Lisa Illean Cranes (2016, revised 2017). With each work, a particular experience stood out: learning, commissioning, performing, and recording a work. These became sites for investigation; problems to solve, choices to decipher, and musical decisions to consider. Analysis from the performer’s perspective became the potential medium through which the research could be expressed. Recent musical analysis literature that attempts to express elements of the score in the context of performance are limited in their ability to capture certain aspects of the performance by their abstract relationship to the site for analysis. In response to this gap in the literature, a goal of this research is to facilitate discourse on performance analysis and present a model of analysis that speaks to processes of the performer. This research argues that performance analysis is to be enacted by the performer, expressing their knowledge and experience of the score in the performance context. Specifically, a performance analysis of Lisa Illean’s Cranes (2016-17) in this exegesis is an embodied analysis that examines knowledge of the score that can only be to known to the performer through performing the score in real time. Examining creative processes undertaken by the performer as they work towards an interpretation reveals the ways in which the performer controls, manipulates and theorises elements of the score towards a performance. Further to this, the performer is in constant negotiation through their relationship with their instrument, the score, the composer, and the performance context. This can often lead to questions on how to navigate issues of authority and authenticity in a performance practice, as the performer determines what gives their practice meaning. When these experiences are contextualised and enter a reflective space, hierarchies are observed, strategies are developed, and greater understanding is gained.
Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.