Andrew Wright's PhD defense

PhD defense

June 22 2016 (15.00)

On Wednesday 22 June 2016 docARTES researcher Andrew Wright will finish his PhD trajectory with the public defence of his thesis 'The Polyphonic Touch - Coarticulation and polyphonic expression in the performance of piano and organ music'. 

Different performances of the same work can communicate more or less polyphony through the employment of expressive divergence. Rather than being a purely cerebral experience, this expressive divergence is situated in an ecological relationship between keyboard and player where the gestural dynamics of technique and musicianship overlap. Specific body schemata relating to expressive divergence are therefore foundational to the interpretive freedom of the performer in creating polyphonic expression and feature transparently in the musical result.

This dissertation theorises expressive divergence by examining the embodiment of single voices through the hierarchical structuring of coarticulation, and by showing how these multi-layered gestures combine in the polyphony of expression. This performative view of polyphony is contextualised not only in musical practice, but also in the wider interdisciplinary use of polyphony as a metaphor, leading to a consideration of agency and subjectivity. Besides verbalising and theorising polyphonic expression, this dissertation and the artistic outcomes of the research trajectory provide experiments and exercises useful for developing such a practice, as well as examples of its application.

The supervising team consists of:

Prof. Frans de Ruiter
Dr. Vincent Meelberg