Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

20 Episodes
by McFadden, Kevin Sean, Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2009, 33; 3342133
Abstract (Summary)

20 Episodes is intended as an exploration of the aesthetics of amateurism. The piece is scored for six trained musicians (a "Pierrot plus" ensemble), but the music removes these professionals from their area of expertise, and perhaps comfort, by occasionally requiring them to play a battery of secondary instruments on which they are not specialized. Many of these sections utilize indeterminacy to ensure each performance will be unique. 20 Episodes draws on an incredibly varied set of influences, including Mauricio Kagel, outsider musician Jandek, the industrial ruins of Buffalo, and commercial television. The title of each miniature is a direct quote from a television program's description or title in DirecTV's channel guide. The added purpose of these titles (and the structure of twenty continuous miniatures) is to comment on the nature of our slick sound-bite culture from an aesthetic point-of-view that could be considered its complete opposite—broken, amateurish, sometimes frankly ugly. Such a juxtaposition suggests a sense of humanity, however imperfect, lurking beneath our often alienating or dehumanizing products of mass-media.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stadelman, Jeffrey
Commitee: Currie, James, Felder, David, Smith, Charles J.
School: State University of New York at Buffalo
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 70/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Music
Keywords: Amateurism, Composition, Original composition, Outsider, Pierrot, Twenty Episodes
Publication Number: 3342133
ISBN: 978-0-549-99137-3
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