In this paper, I analyzed an original musical composition, Mora Mortis, that I wrote, recorded, and edited. It is based on the tenth epistle of Ovid's Heroides, a first-person narrative from the perspective of Ariadne after she has been abandoned. Through Ariadne’s telling of her own experience, Ovid imitates sound and manipulates time to create a compelling story. By using language in this way, Ovid’s interpretation of Ariadne’s story invites a musical retelling through the manipulation of these same components, which I attempted through a composition for piano, vibraphone, violin, four vocalists (SATB) and digitally manipulated sound.
This essay explores how recent change in the music industry, specifically the shift toward digital streaming services like Spotify and Apple music, has affected opportunities available to independent artists. It analyzes business models and social drivers responsible for the success of such streaming services in contrast to those of large-scale record companies, and identifies certain consequences implicit for independent artists through these differences. The paper also examines strategies used by independent artists to gain success, and suggests certain models of operation for such a musician to efficiently navigate the new digital music industry.
Fantasy for Charcoal explores the connections between animated films and music. In my self-scored, self-animated film, I create two soundscapes that impact the film in markedly different ways. The animation itself draws from the techniques of William Kentridge, a South-African artist who animates with charcoal and conté. My charcoal animation interacts with two contrasting soundtracks. The first, a piece for classical guitar, is inspired by Toru Takemitsu’s Folios (1974) and All in Twilight (1988); the piece interacts with and responds to moments in the film through twentieth-century extended guitar techniques, harmonies, and textures. The second soundtrack, inspired by Lech Jankowsky’s soundscape in Stacey Steers’s experimental animation Edge of Alchemy (2017), reflects the animation’s source material. Composed from sounds recorded in the animation studio, such as the sounds of charcoal and eraser rubbing on paper, this piece evokes the film’s creation albeit masked by distortion, layering, reverb, and other digital effects. My project addresses the following questions: How can sound communicate ideas left out of the film? How can a soundtrack that uses sounds from the animation studio communicate the creation process of the film itself? How does the order in which the two versions of the film are screened influence the viewer’s experience of each film? How have twentieth- and twenty-first-century composers and animators collaborated to create films that constitute strong emotional works through dissonant conceptual music, and occasionally, non-representational imagery?
This thesis uses transcriptions to analyze the influence of the modal jazz pianist McCoy Tyner on the improvisational style of the jazz piano prodigy Austin Peralta. The study both explores the roots of modal jazz and considers how Peralta has incorporated and deviated from the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic elements of Tyner's style.
Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, people went on grand tours across Europe for a variety of reasons, but mainly to become cultured and cosmopolitan. Perceived as the capital of music, Italy was the destination of young musicians on their grand tours. As Mozart’s Grand Tour was his finishing school, my own Grand Tour of Italy will conclude my studies here at this institution. This capstone will take the reader to the destinations on both of our Grand Tours in Milan, Rome, Bologna, and Venice.
In my Capstone paper in Music, I explore the history, social contexts, and dynamics of music programs in United States prisons. I trace the history of early penal systems in the United States, focusing on the interplay of religious and philosophical ideas and the evolution of prisons, and move toward a discussion of prisons in the past two hundred years, exploring how population, race, gender, and social philosophy play into these penal systems. Throughout, I touch upon the role of music and arts in prisons, considering how creative expression has been regarded by prisoners and by prison administrations. Finally, I discuss music programs in a recent context, while proposing ways for music programs in prisons to be more effective, just, and sustainable.
In my thesis, I explored how the art collective, Meow Wolf, uses sonic interaction design in their interactive art destination, the House of Eternal Return, to facilitate positive ‘musicking’ experiences that empower and stimulate creative thinking for a broad audience. Using a mixture of on-site research and interviews I conducted and secondary literature I synthesized, I evaluate how experiencing the House of Eternal Return’s combination of fantastical physical sculpture, lights, electronic music, and sonic interaction technology engages a diverse audience in co-creation. I present the idea that Meow Wolf’s work is significant because increasing individual access to creative interaction opportunities has important implications for fostering a healthier society of creative minds.
Logical sets and supersets of musical modes can be generated and categorized within any equally-spaced tuning system or rhythmic beat cycle according to a certain set of simple generative procedures. These procedures are rigorously demonstrated using heptatonic and pentatonic mode sets in twelve-tone equal temperament as examples. These procedures are then extrapolated to rhythmic patterns in twelve- and sixteen-beat cycles, and a unified framework for conceptualizing and categorizing scalar and rhythmic modes of any size in any equally-spaced tuning system or beat cycle is proposed. Real-world musical applications of this framework are suggested.