Hexenhaus - a scrutinising compositional position

Verlaak, Maya (2019) Hexenhaus - a scrutinising compositional position. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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Abstract

‘Heks’1, the Dutch word for ‘witch’, originates from the Germanic ‘Hexe’. It is related to the word Haga or, in Dutch, ‘Haag’ or ‘Hekken’ which mean ‘hedge’ or ‘fence’. A ‘Hexe’ is someone who is needed - but not welcome - in society. They must remain on the margin, on the fence. Applying this to creative practice, a ‘Hexe’-artist is someone who needs to remain on that margin in order to reflect and evaluate from a distance.

Taking the position of the ‘Hexe’ when composing a new piece of music results in an analytical awareness of all parameters in a given context. By doing this in my practice I not only deconstruct and reconstruct, but also continuously self-reflect and learn. I approach everything around me critically: stepping out of society and observing it from the outside, attacking its foundations. This process creates a distance from my practice because I am standing near the (hypothetical) fence, observing the situation from the periphery. As a result, my contextual reflections become the subject of a compositional process.

By applying the ‘Hexe’ position as a methodological tool and catalyst for new work, a scrutinising approach emerges. This scrutinising process is continuously applied in the compositional process, as well as during the rehearsal processes. This has a number of results: it generates a compositional attitude of continuous reflection in which nothing is taken for granted; it often results in a new kind of relationship with the performers and collaborators; and it necessitates an alternative performance practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Date: June 2019
Uncontrolled Keywords: Composition, performance, attitude, context, process, imperfection, revision, engagement, subversion, medium, reversing
Subjects: W300 Music
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
REF UoA Output Collections > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Doris Riou
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2020 10:49
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2020 10:49
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8871

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