33 - Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies
J - Composition
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3 - Music
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In producing this research, I wanted to explore a new form for the song cycle and investigate two research questions: How might contemporary text and music fuse together to express a sense of place? What new ways might there be for presenting live text and sound alongside each other?
The research process for this musical composition included working in collaboration with writers and film-makers. It involved the collation of materials and readings; commissioning of 8 new texts from contemporary writers; the musical setting of these texts; field recordings made in the locations of the texts; recording made of writers reading their text; creation of 10 songs. ‘In Place’ is a gathering together of feelings, associations, geographical details, regional identities, dialects, place names, personal memories, imagined routes, and historical connections. To help in this during the research process, I commissioned new texts from a broad range of writers for whom a sense of place is very much at the core of their work. These, along with a scattering of various existing texts, have become the lyrics for the songs, enabling the piece to be diverse, multi-dimensional and hopefully, unexpected.
Through its diverse range of musical treatments, literary sources, (ethnicities and cultural backgrounds) it has engaged audiences (in a range of mediums), stimulating new ways of hearing and seeing. An example of this is the utilization of projected texts which run parallel to the musical performance providing audiences with an immersive and nuanced experience. The work also challenges notions of musical genres and where/how performance might take place. The performances took place, for example, in venues of all types and sizes. The live performances also existed in a larger and smaller format. In this way, In Place shows musical compositions can celebrate one quality above all others: diversity. https://inplaceproject.co.uk/