The Composer Isn't There: A personal exploration of place in fixed media composition
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This practice-based research is concerned with a collection of fixed media compositions written between 2005 and 2012 with accompanying contextual writing. The primary focus of this research was to produce sound works, but the concept of place has played a significant role throughout both the compositional process and in the reflection of each composition. This research explores how place is ‘heard and felt’ (Feld, 2005) in a composition and how recollected memory impacts on the compositional process. Artistic decisions made with regard to creating the compositions reflect my personal place and associations with these sound materials at a given time whether they are field recordings or synthesised materials. The way in which sound material is subsequently processed and structured reflects this. Place and the compositional practice inform each other in a two-way process. This results in what Katharine Norman (2010) has referred to in her writing on sound art as an ‘autoethnographic’ journey; a representation of the creator’s personal experience. I have begun to reflect on these compositions as art works that represent a particular time or place. The artwork represents the trace of the place from which it was composed (Corringham, 2010). I believe that I cannot totally transport a person to my place; rather, I intend this creative representation to enable the listener to create and inspire their own narrative.
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