Meier, Manuela, On the Peripheral: Sonic Ecologies at the Borderlines of the Possible – An Environmental-Systemic Approach to Music Composition. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, 2019.
Both my compositional practice and my theoretical research are based on my fascination with timbre and sound color, its aural perception and interlinkage with temporal structures. With this as the starting point, I work with and explore in both practical, theoretical and philosophical terms the effects of fluctuations, interferences, resonances, and small- and large-scale temporal manifestations resulting or being connected with these emerging phenomena.
In this dissertation, I discuss the potential that I see in engaging with sonic worlds that take the fleeting and ephemeral artifacts that underly much of music’s nature and sound production as the entry point for the navigation of complex systems of dependencies and interconnections, and, ultimately, the shifting of a listener’s perception and perspective. Supporting my argument with my compositional body of work in the following chapters, I further suggest that an environmental-systemic approach in music composition and to its aural perception not only enables a different reading and understanding of the music, but that it at the same time also means the confrontation with the Other, and a field of potential contact with the Beyond, in a space that I term the borderline areas of the Possible.
While Part 1 will lay the theoretical groundwork for such an environmental approach to music composition, Part 2 will also provide the reader and listener with the compositional evidence of the acoustic manifestations of the theoretical and conceptual framework presented in this dissertation.
Harvard University website – Meier, Manuela – Dissertation, Harvard University
Contact the Author for more information on this publication – contact Author Manuela Meier