Generation X – The Opera
Whether I am listening to the bustling restaurant below my apartment in the dinner hours, or to a symphony orchestra at the concert hall, I hear them as one and the same; conversations that communicate. My research has been centered on looking beyond the metaphoric relationship between language and music and extending the relationship as a means to explore speech melody and rhythm composition.
My research not only places my work as a contemporary music composer, but helps me understand the inherent significance of my music as a codified sonic art form within society. My MFA graduating project, a spoken word opera entitled Generation X- Tales for an Accelerated Culture, exemplifies the rhythmic aspects of English language parlance on both the temporal and pitch class levels. I have developed a system of composition to facilitate the technical issues involved with documenting speech melody within a musical context. The spoken text is notated using what I call “vocal integrative counterpoint”, which incorporates human speech as it exists on the continuum between the pitch-time axes. Part of this methodology utilises phonetic, non-lexical fragmentations techniques used by linguists to isolate and establish the conscious control between all vocal utterances. I also employ techniques that mimic the conversational syntax of speech through the use of multi-voice counterpoint, canon, fugue, hockets, and melodic elisions. My research seeks to continue to develop spoken text, as a powerful means of expression by exploring the musicality inherent within it.
Length: 103 pages
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