Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Synchresis: Exploring gestural relationships between musical-sound and visual-gesture on film: Synchresis as a unifying concept for exploring and creating effective multimedia relationships

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posted on 2022-07-27, 23:27 authored by Clarke, Justin

This investigation looks at the nature of synchresis in filmic contexts, with a particular focus on film-dance. I have discussed language that can be useful in this exploration, and have attempted to define terms in order to better develop a means of conceptualizing what synchresis is, and how it functions in establishing and shaping connections between media. This theoretical work is the background for my investigation of synchresis in the three contrasting works that make up my creative portfolio.

A better understanding of the complexity of synchresis in cross-media interactions provides a useful tool to unify and shape these interactions. The marriage of movement and sound is a central part of human experience and our experiences of music are potently transformed through visual gesture. Likewise film is transformed by music’s vitality and meaning‐shaping role. In other words, synchresis emerges from the primary experience of intermodality. An enhanced understanding of it provides a platform for possible further explorations of the different ways in which different media can be combined. It is hoped that composers might be able to usefully apply ideas from this investigation to intermedia works of their own.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Musical Arts

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

950101 Music; 950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


McKinnon, Dugal; Psathas, John