RESEARCH: papers, conference presentations, books, residencies

"The Garden of Adumbrations": An Anecdotal Soundscape


Masters Thesis published by Department of Computer Science & Information Systems, University of Limerick, Ireland. September 2009.


This thesis examines two problematic modes of sound composition, each of which is based on a particular approach to drawing sounds from the objective world into the subjective of the composer. The first of these is Canadian composer and pedagogue R. Murray Schafer's conception of the "soundscape", predicated on a "schizophonic" engagement with sound. The second is French composer and broadcaster Pierre Schaeffer's concept of the objet sonore and an "acousmatic" relationship to sound. These contrasting approaches come together in the "anecdotal" works of iconoclastic composer Luc Ferrari.

A thorough examination of the working methods and underlying philosophies of these schools provides the basis for the development of a compositional methodology, a practical result of which is "The Garden of Adumbrations", an electroacoustic piece designed for nine-channel playback. Overviews of musical time scales, sound ecology, spatial perspectives, reduced listening, the acousmatic and schizophonia are undertaken along the way.

See also

Material from this thesis was developed for the paper "The Garden of Adumbrations: reimagining environmental composition".


Thanks to DMARC at the University of Limerick and my thesis adviser Kerry Hagan.