Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Project Advisor 1
Project Advisor 2
My senior project is a musical work about sonic identities in transformation, realized through experimental recording practices, electronic means of processing and altering acoustic sound, reactive and impressionistic forms of composition, and spatially integrative electronic musical performance, culminating in two concerts over the course of my two senior year semesters. The names of the two concerts are represented successively within the project title. The conceptual and developmental processes of creating work for each concert have been separate, as have been my experiences working within each process, and as i am sure have been the experiences of my peers, family, and advisors listening in attendance. Giving space to these separations, the whole of the project runs along lines of continuity relating to theme and intention, which extend from specific interests in sound that have arisen from, and recursively informed, my studies and practice in Bard’s music department. As I address these intentions, the specificities of each concert will be treated as contingencies of the larger work.
The theme of transformation is embedded within the music of this project through my engagements with specific deconstructive and reconstructive practices involving acoustic sound, including the tactile and physical processes of instrumental transduction and controlled spatial feedback, as well as computer-based processes of spectral reduction, granular synthesis, convolution, transposition, and various forms of time delay, using field-recordings, musical instruments and physical spaces as sound-sources and subjects. These processes are utilized to reconfigure the acoustic materials of my sound-sources in such a way that they would seem to be perpetually opening up into a space in which their familiar overtonal identities are at the cusp of being reordered, abstracted, decomposed into pure tones, or released from the tether of their forms into bodies of residual sonic energy. The intention of my compositions is to straddle the threshold of this release, to facilitate a space between the familiar and unfamiliar within the realm of audile experience, and to do so in a way that calls attention to the resonance which transverses these borders of familiarity, to the extent of their variable dissolution.
By performatively shaping the temporal unfolding of this resonance, through various incarnations of its attributability to source material and various infusions with tonal musicality, I have sought to explore metaphorical relationships between sonic identity and memory, subjectivity, the material of personal experience, and to use the undoing of sonic identities itself as an ongoing motif and reference point for shifts in perspective along these associations. It is my intent to convey a sense of sonic interrelation, an unending capacity within sound for transformation, recyclability, and proximity to the substance of its underlying connectvities. It is my hope that in the immersive space of this sonic unfolding, an internal reflection of these analogies might follow to that extent.
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Michie, Charles, "Toll of the Bell // Subtle Bodies Unfolding" (2019). Senior Projects Spring 2019. 301.