Date of Submission

Spring 2020

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Matthew Sargent

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Project I: Corrida

Corrida is a musical exploration of the savage poetry and violence of the Spanish bullfight, or corrida de toros. The four tracks of this project mirror the four main stages of a bullfight. The title track—Corrida—uses a lush wall of ambient sound coupled with heavily processed classical guitar to evoke a sense of place and guide the listener into the ominous calm of a bullring before the fight begins, then shifts to a triumphant outburst of synth melodies and percussion as matador and bull engage. This energy continues into the second track, which illustrates the stage of the bullfight known as the tercio de varas or “lance part,” in which a series of small pikes are stabbed into the bull to enrage it. This track is characterized by harsh metallic impacts and the faint vocals, mimicking ghostly wails of a bull in pain. The third track, “Tercio de Banderillas,” represents the violent climax both of the corrida and of the project itself. Dense electronic landscapes are punctuated with filthy melodies and techno and trap motifs to evoke the tercio de bandilleras, the stage of a bullfight in which the bull is jabbed with two large spears to weaken it. The last track on the project catalogues the final stage of the bullfight, the tercio de muerte, or “death part”. In this stage, represented by slow rich ambient textures, an exhausted bull collapses into the corner of the ring as the matador delivers his final blow.

Written during a time when brutality and violence take the form of global public spectacle, Corrida evokes a more ancient form spectacular violence in the timeless confines of the bullring.

Project II: Technospeciation

Technospeciation is a work of science fiction. It imagines a future in which technological enhancements of both the body and mind are pervasive across all of humanity. In this future, the subtle differences in programming based on regional manufacturers have created type of speciation between the populations that correspond to them, mirroring the era roughly 500,000 years ago, when Homo Sapiens shared the earth with dozens of other hominid species. The first track on this project, Cro-Magnon is an introduction to this world. It serves to showcase the various musical styles and ideologies of the different technospecies that inhabit the earth. Ambient music explodes into chaotic dance-pop, baroque harmony drifts into pulsing RnB jams. The second track, Denisovan focuses its lens on a specific technospecies. One in which the cybernetic enhancements of its population are primarily designed to aid in manufacturing and and grunt labor. Mechanical percussion chugs along to industrial synths and aggressive melodies. The next track, Erectus primarily examines a culture of extreme capitalism an consumerism. Pop music is analogous to religious music to these people. Adware is engraved directly in their vision. This track begins with tribal rumblings echoing the prehistoric motif of this project, it swiftly transitions into dance-pop anarchy, swirling with rich synth textures and unintelligible robotic vocals. The fourth track, Habilis, imagines a technospecies who’s primary feature is that their enhancements and implants have rendered them physically immortal. To this technospecies, the world moves incredibly slowly, thus, this track has the characteristics of an ambient drone. The melody is stagnant throughout the piece, and the production around it evolves subtly and gradually. The last track, Florensis is a stripped-down, meloncholy composition written for piano. It offers start contrast to the rest of the tracks on the project, as it in the the only fully acoustic piece. It is meant to represent the lament of the unenhanced in the face of rapid extinction.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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