Discontinuity: A compositional approach to the dynamic decoupling of gesture and sound in live performance
The gestural-sonorous object, as described by Rolf Inge Godøy, has experienced a gradual aesthetic splitting in New Music practices. The notion that physical gesture relates to sounding result in a linear, cause-and-effect fashion can no longer be taken as a pre-condition in the study of compositional thought, as New Complexity conceives of ever more diverse modes of instrumentally focussed sound production, while the New Discipline eschews musical tropes altogether. This thesis formulates a new model of information flow in performance, to facilitate an understanding of the role physical gesture plays in the interpretative processes involved in the creation of bodily and cultural meaning, as derived from musical experiences. This model, based on the concept of the ‘assemblage’, allows for an in-depth consideration of the abstract topologies of external references in music, and provides a foundation for a taxonomy of the modes of disruption of gestural-sonorous linearity. This is developed in the pursuit of a more dynamic and meaningful conception of the role physical gesture plays in the acquisition of knowledge and meaning in music.