Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Narratives on Narratives, From Utterance to Stories: Finding a Context for the Speaking Percussionist
by Whiting Smith, Bonnie Anne, D.M.A., University of California, San Diego, 2012, 72; 3523844
Abstract (Summary)

The genesis and spirit of any piece of music for a speaking percussionist is tied to not only to the tradition of experimental music and art and but also to traditions of storytelling. This hybrid sonic art: an individual human voice modified and enhanced by a percussive sound world, or its inverse: percussion music extended by a single human voice, is powerful and accessible because it is an amplification and transformation of the familiar through a lens of ritualistic performance and even performativity. It is neither a purely cerebral listening experience linked to contemporary music nor a fully-staged theatrical experience, but rather a composite art form linked to these traditions. Being closer to our everyday human desire to tell and listen to stories while engaging with one another, listeners are invited to an opening of their own everyday life experiences, even when a traditional narrative is not present in the work being performed.

This concept is explored in specific works for speaking percussionist (from John Cage, Frederic Rzewski, and Vinko Globokar, to more recent creations) and here addressed through the lenses of traditional storytelling, ritual in performance, corporeality, and narratology. Both illustrative and personal stories (after John Cage's Indeterminacy) are woven throughout.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schick, Steven
Commitee: Green, Allyson, Negyesy, Janos, Otte, Allen, Steiger, Rand
School: University of California, San Diego
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Performing Arts
Keywords: Experimental music, Narratology, Percussion, Speaking percussionist, Storytelling, Theatre
Publication Number: 3523844
ISBN: 978-1-267-57195-3
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