Date of Award

2019

First Advisor

John Myers

Second Advisor

Larry Wallach

Abstract

Over the course of several months I composed a body of original music. I recorded, arranged, produced, and released a 38-minute multi-instrumental album. After finishing the master recording myself, I collected a group of talented musicians and formed a band to perform the work live. We played two hour-long concerts in March, which I also recorded and produced. The written portion of my thesis is concerned with musical experience more generally; but relates at every moment to how the album came to be and the themes it engages with. The album is about musical perception and communion, which cannot be separated from any other angle of perception or human experience. Making music is speaking. The text of the thesis is concerned with the articulation of music and natural language, the embodiment of musical cognition, the dissolution of boundaries between internal and external experience, and experiences of becoming untethered/ungrounded. Much of the body of the text rejects more rigid, logical, or dialectic organizational structures, and instead seeks to exist more fluidly. It is meant to be shifting and cloud-like, and in this way to engage more genuinely with the big teaching of sounds.

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