Electronic music instrument practice and the mechanisms of influence between technical design, performance practice and composition
Williams, Sean Barry Kelly
This thesis examines the practices and techniques involved with particular electronic instruments and proposes an archaeological approach to reconsider the ways in which noise can communicate various details of instrument design and practice to the listener. I present two case studies concerning electronic music practice using repurposed devices - stepped filters - and by combining a detailed material analysis of the instruments with interviews, video and other evidence, I document the practices involved with their use. By rebuilding these instruments, and designing and building other devices, I test my hypotheses through my own practice, and by doing so I refine my results and extend my composition, performance practice and technical design skills to include valuable lessons learned through this research. The portfolio engages with the three archaeological levels (Listening Situation, Reproduction Stage, Production Environment) and the three areas of the production continuum (Composition, Performance Practice, Technical Design) and through sound installations, crafted media, recorded performances, and the documentation of devices designed for these pieces, it supports the thesis through experimentation and incorporation of results through reflective practice.