Multiplicity as a process of experimental music

PhD Thesis

Stone, S. 2020. Multiplicity as a process of experimental music. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Creative Arts and Industries
AuthorsStone, S.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy

This PhD explores my practice through six new compositions of experimental music: Far Infrared (2015/18/19), “As Sure as Time…” (2016-), Amalgamations (2016-), Continuum (2017-), ُ
وِيَّةُه (Huia) (2018-) and postcard-sized pieces (2020). Using the philosophical concept of multiplicity (discussed by Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, and Alain Badiou) as a framework for the composition, realisation, and experience of this music, I highlight the heterogeneity of seemingly quantitative multiplicities. Key points of focus include considering the experience of sound, silence and durations, indeterminacy and interpretation, the notation, and musical situations (including space and collaboration) as qualitative multiplicities. Extensive research in experimental music, recent approaches to experimental music, and practice research methodologies form the background of this project. Prior knowledge within the field of experimental music is examined and extended, with case studies including Wandelweiser, and specific Wandelweiser composers such as Antoine Beuger and Emmanuelle Waeckerlé, as well as Éliane Radigue.

Realisations of the six new compositions have been documented through audio recordings, videos, photographs, and scores, and are analysed and reflected upon in the exegesis, which influenced future situations and compositions in an iterative, reflexive cycle. As well as new compositions of experimental music, this research offers new perspectives on the concept of multiplicity as a paradigm to understand experimental music, particularly through the compositional process, realisation and listening experience. The compositions of this project explore multiplicity in various ways, such as series, flexibility of score and situations, types and experiences of silences, sustained sounds, duration, and instrumentation. Despite these traditionally being considered as quantitative multiplicities, I argue that they are qualitative through Badiou’s ontology of multiplicity due to their subjectivity, simultaneous and interwoven experiences of past and present, and all experiences not being complete. By considering multiplicities in this way, it highlights the complexity of experimental music practice.

KeywordsMultiplicity; Experimental music; Process
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Deposited28 Feb 2022
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Related outputs

postcard-sized pieces
Stone, S. 2020. postcard-sized pieces.
هُوِيَّةُ (Huia)
Stone, S. and Souleh, N. 2020. هُوِيَّةُ (Huia).
Stone, S. 2020. Continuum.
Stone, S. 2020. Amalgamations.
"As Sure as Time..."
Stone, S. 2020. "As Sure as Time...".
Far Infrared
Stone, S. 2020. Far Infrared.