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Murphy, Cullyn D (2023) THE MUSICAL COMPLICATION OF OBJECTS AND [/-/], A SERIES OF ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS AND ACCOMPANYING OBJECTS. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation examines the restructured role of objects in the New Discipline through affect studies, media studies, and thing theory. Composer Jennifer Walshe describes the New Discipline as a way of “making and critiquing compositions where physical, theatrical and visual elements are as important as the sonic.” In the New Discipline, quotidian objects frequently subvert their traditional functional purpose through sound and sight. I refer to this process in which sound and sight are used (in tandem) to transform an object from object to “thing” (an object that is elevated through personal, emotional, or visual connection) as “the musical complication of objects.” Through this lens, I analyze Jennifer Walshe’s Physics for the Girl in the Street, a piece that provides excellent examples of many elements crucial to Walshe’s oeuvre, the New Discipline, and the incorporation of traditionally non-musical objects in a musical setting. This analysis provides an alternative to traditional analyses that would not be capable of addressing the most critical components of interdisciplinary composition.

My series of original compositions titled “[/-/]” is a series of interlinking compositions with newly created accompanying extramusical elements. In this series, the extramusical objects are quotidian creations that connect to the programmatic material of the piece. The series includes entry in diary I don’t keep for string quartet with accompanying retro video game serving as a program note, everywhere all ways for clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano, and electronics with accompanying video scrapbook, Garrulous; Cut Up for solo speaking double bass with accompanying augmented reality Instagram filter, $9 Hallmark Card for violin duo with accompanying anniversary card, DONTBESCARED for three blindfolded performers and writing tools with accompanying postcards, and pause/so]It’s[ ]no[FUN for oboe, harp, and percussion with accompanying posters. Each extramusical element’s unique process of production is mirrored through my treatment of form, texture, quotation, or other connections to the original object. I situate these objects alongside the compositions to enable myself, performers, and audiences to find new potential interactions between the objects, the music, and themselves.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Murphy, Cullyn Dcullynmurphy@gmail.comcdm71
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMoe,
Committee MemberWilliams,
Committee MemberWang,
Committee MemberHorton,
Date: 15 May 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 7 February 2023
Approval Date: 15 May 2023
Submission Date: 7 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 132
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Music
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: composition, theory, thing theory, contemporary classical music, jennifer walshe, new discipline, cullyn murphy
Date Deposited: 15 May 2023 16:44
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 16:44

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