Commentary to accompany Portfolio of Compositions

  • Trevor Andrew Siemens

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Musical Composition


Through the eight pieces in my portfolio of compositions, I have addressed the concept of musical transfonnation, exploring it in multiple ways appropriate to the demands of each piece. The works are for a range of instrumental, vocal and electronic forces. The instrumental pieces include: Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano, Beboonikae for 14 players, North for orchestra, ceaseless voice for flute, guitar and percussion and empty chambers for string quartet. There is also one choral work, The Child for two part choir and piano, and an electronic work, Secret Gardens, for six loudspeakers, an installation created using MAXlMsp. The central work in the portfolio is a chamber opera, based on the story by Oscar Wilde, The Selfish Giant, for six soloists, children's chorus and chamber orchestra. Alongside, and as part of musical transfonnation, my work explores spectral harmony and spectral analysis, spatialisation, the use of borrowed material (usually early French carols) and the relationship between gesture and silence. Drama and the theatre shape much of the compositional work; infonned by an extended study of Luigi Nono's Prometeo: Tragedia dell'ascolto.
Date of Award2008
Original languageEnglish

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