WRITINGS

PhD Dissertation | University of California San Diego
Sculpting Sonic Spaces and Examining the Micro: An Exploration of Creativity and Compositional Practice | 2021
Abstract: This dissertation offers an analytical and ontological insight into my compositional method and creative process. Focusing on three compositional projects produced at UCSD between 2018 and 2020, this dissertation details the synthesis of acoustic and electronics components utilized in my work. Giving special emphasis on the exploration of the facilitation of technology, and annotating the creative journey embarked upon through collaboration, this dissertation outlines the stages of creative process; from the initial creation of a work, to the final presentation of a composition.
Structured into three distinct chapters, each chapter provides a detailed analysis of an individual composition with the main principles discussed within each chapter relating to my compositional process. Common themes seen throughout each chapter are concerned with granularity, sound sculpting, and spatialization. Through this dissertation I endeavor to provide detailed explanations of each of these techniques and how they are incorporated into my work.
This dissertation is primarily about exploration and intuition. Through unpacking the elements of my compositional practice, I have endeavored to embark on new sonic terrain, situating my work not only within the boundaries and traditions prevalent in Western Art Music, but as an attempt to also expand the compositional dichotomy of acoustic and electronic mediums.
 
Abstract: This paper focuses on prescriptive notation, or action notation. Through providing some historical context of the use of prescriptive notation both prior to and in the 20th century, the research will lead to, firstly, the examination of the use of the particular notational practices in the works of Helmut Lachenmann and Aaron Cassidy during their compositional careers and, secondly, the analysis of one solo composition by each composer with the purpose of showing the different perspectives of the two composers on the use of these practices. Finally, the paper will provide some thoughts on the relation of my personal compositional work to the discussed notational principles.
 
Abstract: The study seeks to provide a catalogue of the live signal processing and spatialization practices applied upon Boulez’s Répons and Steiger’s Concatenation and examines how those influence and reinforce the composers’ musical intentions.
 
Master's Thesis | Eastman School of Music
The “net-structure” harmonic processes in the 1st and 2nd movement of Ligeti’s String Quartet No. 2 (1968) | 2014
Abstract: This paper examines the first and second movement of György Ligeti’s String Quartet No. 2 (1968). Upon first hearing this work I was intrigued by Ligeti’s use of harmonic and rhythmic complexity. I wanted to understand how Ligeti sets up these complex structures and the processes involved in manipulating the rhythmic and harmonic language. Whilst exploring the rhythmically dense passages of this quartet, I found myself thinking about the harmony, specifically how the harmonic language was affected by rhythmic complexity. In order to better understand the relationship between the harmony and the complex rhythmic character of the work I began a process of analysis. In my preliminary analysis of the pitch content I was looking for reoccurring patterns and series of pitches at a local level. However, I quickly realized that this approach was too microscopic to account for the larger-scale connection between the rhythm and harmony. For this reason, I adopted a “net-structure” approach to my analysis.