Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Timbral Processes in Three Selected Works by Olga Neuwirth, Kaija Saariaho and Clara Iannotta, and Their Influence on a Portfolio of Creative Works

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posted on 2022-08-01, 01:54 authored by Sarah Ballard

The instrumental music of composers Olga Neuwirth, Kaija Saariaho and Clara Iannotta inhabits an inventive sphere of approaches to timbre, inviting a variety of possibilities of considering how sound can be organised to create compelling narratives with timbre as a key parameter. This research aims to define the individual sound units within three of these composers’ ensemble works and to determine how these sound units are assembled, how they interact with one another, and how their functions operate throughout the course of the work. These works are Vampyrotheone (1995) for three soloists and three ensemble-formations, Oi Kuu (1990) for bass clarinet and cello, and Àphones (2011) for 17 instruments. The intended outcome of this research is to enable an understanding of the form-creating forces throughout these works, which are conceived through a timbre-based approach, and how this might allow for insight into the compositional process of the composers. Aspects of these various approaches will be discussed in relation to a portfolio of my own works, encompassing a range of forces including works for accordion and clarinet, orchestra and chamber ensemble.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Norris, Michael