An exploration of the duende in the composition of musical works

Giguère, Patrick (2018) An exploration of the duende in the composition of musical works. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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This thesis investigates how an exploration of the duende, an Andalusian concept theorised by Federico Garcia Lorca, could take place during the composition process of contemporary musical works. The research aimed to observe and change my composing process according to the key values of the duende, namely authenticity, performance and spontaneity. Furthermore, the composed musical works strive to create intense musical experiences akin to the intensity of the duende and this creative journey was undertaken in order to define my personal aesthetic. The thesis is the result of this practice-based research and takes the form of a portfolio of recordings and scores of musical works along with a written commentary. Constantly trying to see how I could adapt my process according to the duende and its values required me to accept and embrace my musical personality, to increase my sensibility to my material and to the physicality of music-making, to open my mind to surprise as well as to accept loss of control. Doing so simultaneously allowed me to explore further and to refine facets of my musical language as well as to create works that foster exciting performances

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: I travelled all the way from Quebec to England because I needed fresh air, new ideas, new music and original approaches. Leaving my comfort zone and getting to know a new culture were also part of the changes I was striving for. Yet, looking back at these three intense and fulfilling years, I did not expect that living in England would actually give me the needed space and perspective to reflect on and reconsider the experience and teachings I gathered prior to the start of my PhD studies. This has been an interesting and extremely valuable process. I would thus like to quickly thank Éric Morin, Josée Vaillancourt and Maria-Teresa Moreno Sala; they are always somewhere in the back of my mind. The inspiring performers of Ensemble Lunatik also deserved to be thanked; we learned so much together and they offered me the perfect creative space to experiment and grow. I would never have thought of such a project without the work we did together. The same is true for Pascale Marcoux; my encounter with the duende might never have happened without our discussion at Le sacrilège on that nice and warm summer night. The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Composition Department has been an extraordinary space and community for me to evolve in. I will not name everybody, but would like to thank all the professors, lecturers and students that contribute to make it an open-minded, exciting, slightly quirky and truly inspiring environment. In particular, I have to thank my colleagues Andy Ingamells, Paul Norman and Andrew Toovey for having such different and fascinating practices as well as for welcoming me into their lives. The weekly passionate discussions Andy and I had over countless coffees and beers have definitely been a highlight of my time in Birmingham. I could not have hoped for a supervisory team better suited to me, to my project and to what I was hoping for by continuing my studies. I would like to thank Christopher Dingle for the trust he put in my project, for his rigour and for his perspicacity. I am very grateful for his invaluable help. Howard Skempton has been a wise and kind mentor; I cannot thank him enough for composing such wonderful music, for explaining his uniquely sophisticated ways of understanding music and for sharing the contagious passion he has for playing with sounds. As for Joe Cutler, he believed in my music and in myself from our very first meeting; without him, none of this would have been possible. I would like to thank him for being such a magical person, such a sensible and original composer and such a gifted pedagogue. He has this special ability of mixing the right people together, and always seems to understand me better than I understand myself. I am convinced that it will take me many years to truly understand and process all of what they offered me, and hope that I will continue to grow accordingly. Finally, I have to thank my beloved husband Alexandre Araujo who left everything behind and followed me to the fascinating city that is Birmingham. Thank you for your love, for your support, for your courage, for your understanding, for your kindness, for your authenticity and for your sensibility. You are a true inspiration, and I am really looking forward to start the next chapter of our lives together.
8 June 2018Completed
Uncontrolled Keywords: duende, contemporary music, new music, Federico Garcia Lorca, orchestra, chamber music, creative process, compositional process, values in the creative process, flamenco, authenticity, spontaneity, physicality
Subjects: CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-02 - performing arts > CAH25-02-02 - music
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Kip Darling
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 15:04
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:54

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