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Autoethnographic Compositional Responses to Historical Narratives

Lancaster, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1691-4320 (2020) Autoethnographic Compositional Responses to Historical Narratives. York St John University. (Unpublished)

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DL2 - LANCASTER - Music of a Thousand Breaths and Tlatelolco.pptx - Submitted Version


This submission comprises two original compositions for voice(s) and ensemble, developing important themes from recent work:

Firstly, it continues an ongoing autoethnographic study which seeks to understand the world through an exploration of older narratives, buildings, artefacts and images; secondly, it is concerned with the re-telling of narratives from the past in such a way as to create new forms and structures.

Both compositions are re-interpretations of material from historical sources; Ellis and Bochner (2000, 739) state that “autoethnographers gaze, first … focusing outward on social and cultural aspects of their personal experience; then, they look inward, exposing a … self that is moved by and may move through, refract, and resist cultural interpretations”, favouring instead the personal and subjective readings. The multi-layered nature of the poetry (in Tlatelolco) re-tells events from multiple perspectives, revealing ambiguities and inconsistencies in the reporting of the massacre and providing opportunities for multiple parallel musical settings. In Music of a Thousand Breaths that ambiguity is provided through simultaneous visual, musical and poetic re-tellings.

In either case the overarching structure of the work is determined by an external source - the sequence of paintings around the nave of the church, or the poetic text - but linear continuity is deliberately broken by the fragmented, episodic form and a web of musical cross-referencing to create a fractured continuity which draws extensively upon techniques of analepsis and prolepsis from cinematography. In Tlatelolco, for example, the narrative cuts between the three voices, often rapidly, to establish a quasi-cinematic montage; transitions are sometimes smooth crossfades but in other places are harder cuts, without transition. Whilst del Rio tells the story of the events in the order they unfold, the use of multiple perspectives dramatizes that narrative and the disjunct continuity adds to the sense of bewilderment and confusion.

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/4600

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