Towards a comprovisation practice: a portfolio of compositions and notations for improvisations
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This thesis explores the interplay between repeatability and contingency in a series of instrumental and electro-instrumental compositions, through a practice that involves the devising and development of unique notational strategies and the use of bespoke real-time digital signal processing software. In particular, this study examines the praxis of comprovisation, i.e. practices situated between the poles of composition and improvisation, and it is framed by three main research topics: 1. An exploration of musical time and form as components of a dynamic system between events and musical gestures, involving structures of variable and/or indeterminate temporal durations. 2. An investigation of the ways in which the temporal organization and the in-time trópos (τρόπος - ”way, mode, modality, manner”) of an improvisational performance-practice for solo violin can be transduced into the symbolic level so as to be explored as compositional material. 3. An examination of the conditions in which Middle Eastern makam music composition and improvisation traditions can inform the development of contemporary notational devices for a comprovisation practice involving other performers. In addition to the scores, software, and recordings of the compositions, a relevant portfolio of recorded solo-violin improvisations and two published papers examining the above topics are included to further illustrate the discussion.