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Title: Free improvisation, structure and game
Authors: Nielsen, Richard John
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: How can a free improvisation be engendered? How can it be shaped to make it ‘less free’? Through this project I have composed and developed materials to be used in group improvisations and influence the ways those improvisations proceed. I developed the material through an active and reflective process informed by my own musical development, existing improvisational and experimental compositional practice and the idea of ‘game’ or ‘play’. This study presents an idea of ‘game’ or ‘play’ as having a quality that can be harnessed to achieve the aim of exploring creative practice scenarios. The resulting compositions are contextualised within existing musical practice in free improvisation, free jazz and compositions making use of various forms of improvisation as well as literature on areas such as game and play, freedom, response and collaboration. The work is shaped and informed by contextual research, in particular the theory of games and play which led to an understanding of the short compositions as ‘atoms’ which could be sequenced together to form larger ‘structures’. The culmination of the compositional activity led to the development of two larger works which are holistic compositions, rather than several smaller works sequenced together. These compositions emerged through practical activity in tandem with contextual research. Documentation around the practical implementation and developmental processes culminate in an evaluation of the project.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Arts and Cultures

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