The significant other: A flutist's role in performer-composer collaborations

McKay, Janet (2016). The significant other: A flutist's role in performer-composer collaborations PhD Thesis, School of Music, The University of Queensland. doi:10.14264/uql.2016.166

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Author McKay, Janet
Thesis Title The significant other: A flutist's role in performer-composer collaborations
School, Centre or Institute School of Music
Institution The University of Queensland
DOI 10.14264/uql.2016.166
Publication date 2016-03-13
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Liam Viney
Robert Davidson
Patrick Nolan
Total pages 149
Language eng
Subjects 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Formatted abstract
Flutists and composers have been collaborating for decades but it is only in recent years that the phenomenon of performer-composer collaboration has emerged as an area of research interest. Within the small core of existing resources there are few that address both the creative and pragmatic elements of collaboration from inception to performance. This project documents and critically evaluates flutist-composer collaborations with the aim of creating new sound worlds for the flute. It examines how my own contributions, knowledge and specialist skills influenced composers’ musical decisions and brought to light the embodied musical knowledge of both performer and composer through workshops and performances.

Seven composers were commissioned to write new works for flute, working collaboratively with me as the flutist-researcher over the course of twelve months. Several new sounds, new fingerings for existing sounds and new ways of notating flute sounds emerged. Many performative elements were discussed, including costume, staging and prop requirements, Performance Notes, prescribed physical movements and interaction with technologies.

This thesis demonstrates that the flute’s sound world can be expanded when a flutist and composer work together collaboratively, and opens up the processes of collaboration for purposeful exploration and inquiry. Creative and idiomatic solutions to questions of sound, notation and performative elements have been identified as a result of the flutist’s experimentations with the composers’ conceptual ideas. This research adds to a growing field of academic inquiry into performer-composer collaboration and lays the foundations for further investigation into many areas of this discipline.
Keyword Flute
Extended techniques
Composition (Music)
Music notation
Music -- 21st century

Document type: Thesis
Collections: UQ Theses (RHD) - Official
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
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Created: Mon, 29 Feb 2016, 23:09:45 EST by Janet Mckay on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)