Phonetic Relations between Vocal Music, Electronics and Linguistics in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century.

The main aim of this research project is to investigate the phonetic relations between vocal/electronic music and linguistics in the second half of the twentieth century.
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Paolo Galli

Keywords: composition, vocal music, electronics, linguistics
Duration: Started in 2014
Period: 20th century music, 21st century music
Musician type: composer
Host institution: Antwerp University

Influenced by new, even revolutionary linguistic theories of renowned scholars, such as Roman Jakobson (1896- 1982), several composers established an interaction between vocal/electronic compositions and the phonetic dimension of the linguistic apparatus. By focusing his attention on compositions written by Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007), e.g. Gesang der Junglinge (1955-56), by Luciano Berio (1925-2003), e.g. Thema (Omaggio a Joyce) (1958), by Luigi Nono (1924-1990), e.g. Omaggio a Gyorgy Kurtag (1983), by Kaija Saariaho (1952), e.g. Lonh (1996), by Jonathan Harvey, i.e. Speakings (2008), Galli will pursue the following research objectives:

1) Investigation of the interactions between the phonetic characteristics of a text and the timbral and formal features of a composition including voice instruments and electronics.

2) Exploration of the subtle transformations between words as bearers of meaning (‘sense’) and words as sound material (‘sound’).

A substantial part of this research will be carried out by using music itself as a tool for text analysis through the creation of two original compositions for voice, instruments and live electronics. By musically exploring the intrinsic syllabic and phonemic structure of a text, it is Galli's intention to derive a new set of compositional parameters. The further results will be disseminated via the redaction of a handbook for composers, two articles, a doctoral thesis and via a series of five lectures for students at the Royal Antwerp Conservatoire.

Arthur Cools (Promotor), Wim Henderickx (promotor)