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The Dark Gate: An Autoethographic Composition in Response to the Poetry of David Vogel

Lancaster, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1691-4320 (2020) The Dark Gate: An Autoethographic Composition in Response to the Poetry of David Vogel. York St John University. (Unpublished)

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Situated in my autoethnographic research as composer, this work seeks to explore and develop a response to the events of the Holocaust through a setting of words by David Vogel. In composing The Dark Gate, I was attempting to understand more deeply a relationship with the past, and in this case with traumatic events which were not experienced first-hand but which impact profoundly upon cultural memory, though a re-telling of the narrative in such a way as it reflects my own experiences (I translated Vogel’s poetry into English and visited Auschwitz to find his name in the register of those killed). As Chang (2008, 49–50) says, “autoethnography is not about focusing on self alone, but about searching for understanding of others (culture/society) through self”.

Vogel’s text provides an authentic vehicle for an explorative re-telling and a framework for the five songs; although his poems are ordered in such a way as to create a narrative which traces a path leading from notions of ‘home’ towards the events of the Holocaust, the musical trajectory of the songs is not directly linear; material from the opening song (the repeating high F, for example), recurs independent of the poetic structure, and there are other recurring themes and devices spanning the work to create meaning within a highly contrasted musical landscape, in effect creating a multi-layered montage. Eisenstein, who developed this cinematic technique wrote that ‘the future of montage lies in musical composition’; in this work I attempt to re-present narratives and interlinked themes through the juxtaposition and superimposition of musical fragments. In this instance, the softer transitions (in which there is shared material either side of the ‘cut’) better satisfied the musical context, although in subsequent work I have been able to develop this technique using much harder, clearer edits.

Item Type: Other
Status: Unpublished
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
School/Department: School of the Arts
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4599

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