Zurück zur Liste

Tracing the Compositional Process. Sound art that rewrites its own past: formation, praxis and a computer framework

ID 40071
Abstract The domain of this thesis is electroacoustic computer-based music and sound art. It investigates a facet of composition which is often neglected or ill-defined: the process of composing itself and its embedding in time. Previous research mostly focused on instrumental composition or, when electronic music was included, the computer was treated as a tool which would eventually be subtracted from the equation. The aim was either to explain a resultant piece of music by reconstructing the intention of the composer, or to explain human creativity by building a model of the mind. Our aim instead is to understand composition as an irreducible unfolding of material traces which takes place in its own temporality. This understanding is formalised as a software framework that traces creation time as a version graph of transactions. The instantiation and manipulation of any musical structure implemented within this framework is thereby automatically stored in a database. Not only can it be queried ex post by an external researcher—providing a new quality for the empirical analysis of the activity of composing—but it is an integral part of the composition environment. Therefore it can recursively become a source for the ongoing composition and introduce new ways of aesthetic expression. The framework aims to unify creation and performance time, fixed and generative composition, human and algorithmic “writing”, a writing that includes indeterminate elements which condense as concurrent vertices in the version graph. The second major contribution is a critical epistemological discourse on the question of ob- servability and the function of observation. Our goal is to explore a new direction of artistic research which is characterised by a mixed methodology of theoretical writing, technological development and artistic practice. The form of the thesis is an exercise in becoming process-like itself, wherein the epistemic thing is generated by translating the gaps between these three levels. This is my idea of the new aesthetics: That through the operation of a re-entry one may establish a sort of process “form”, yielding works which go beyond a categorical either “sound-in-itself” or “conceptualism”. Exemplary processes are revealed by deconstructing a series of existing pieces, as well as through the successful application of the new framework in the creation of new pieces.
Monat 11
Name University of Plymouth (Vereinigtes Königreich)
Ort University of Plymouth (Vereinigtes Königreich)
Anmerkung published: online
Publikationsart Doktorarbeit
Jahr 2014
AutorInnen Rutz, H.