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Saxophone world premieres : research, collaboration and performance

Watson, TA 2012, Saxophone world premieres : research, collaboration and performance , PhD thesis, Salford: University of Salford.

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Abstract

This DMA portfolio contains materials appertaining to the research and collaboration of imaginative performance-based projects that have been completed whilst studying towards a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Salford. Commissioning and working with four leading composers in the Wind Ensemble genre to write world premiere works for solo saxophone performance over a two year period involved a great deal of thought and preparation. Further enhanced by a solo saxophone and piano compact disc recording, this submission compromises: 1. In League with Extraordinary Gentlemen Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble composition by Peter Graham. 2. These Mist Covered Mountains a saxophone and piano compact disc recording:- Pastoral - Elliot Carter Brainstorm - Tim Watson Crazy Diamonds Shining Pete Meechan Sea Shift - Robin Dewhurst Fuzzy Bird Sonata - Takashi Yoshimatsu These Mist Covered Mountains - Pete Meechan 3. Concertino for Alto Saxophone by Adam Gorb 4. Fenix Blue by Pete Meechan 5. Let it be an arrangement by Dr Robin Dewhurst Each project is explained in detail, showing the research, commissioning, collaboration and performance involved. Audio and video recordings with the commentaries are accompanied by pdf scores, compact disc sleeve notes, programmes of performance, magazine reviews and critical evaluations from leading performers and academics worldwide. Choosing a wide variety of musicians to evaluate my work not only testifies to its validity, but also shows the impact, significance and importance it has across a wide field of musical knowledge. With the many different aspects involved in performance today each project became completely unique. The research, analysis and adaptation of already written repertoire at an advanced level allowed the development of new stylistic sounds. The incorporation of world premiere performances at different acoustic venues allowed not only performance creation and flexibility, but gave many opportunities to invite the composers to hear their music performed and for the audience to engage and critique a new aural perception. Using different ensembles for each premiere and recording meant logistical problems and unforeseen circumstances had to be overcome, but working with composers that hold such a high standing in their field allowed soloist performance boundaries to be pushed. However, working with differing levels of musicality, in an array of ensembles, from all parts of the country, meant there were various interpretations of the music, ranging from different conducting styles to varying levels of musical accompaniment! Along with the musical aptitude, skills and experience of the composers and musicians on larger scale works, was the challenge of incorporating different stylistic compositions, unaccompanied and with piano accompaniment for the compact disc project. Forming a programme of unrecorded, new and established repertoire meant that the compact disc compilation would have a unique quality to it. In the commentary for this project is the justification of chosen repertoire and the need for professionalism when recording. Over two days of intense concentration, virtuosic and technically demanding passages needed consummate dexterity. Extended technique work added panache but also needed careful control and balancing, along with melodic phrasing and tone production. The final results from every project I found were enlightening and created a buzz of excitement at some point on every performance, an experience I hope to never lose! In conclusion, the submission contains other supporting material that shows my professional standing as a performing artist in varying musical fields, highlighting my past and current activities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Depositing User: WM Taylor
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2016 11:25
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2016 11:25
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/38105

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