Theses Doctoral

Pendulum V: DM "Vitality, Exhaustion and Fleeting Equilibrium"

Mincek, Milan

This dissertation is in two parts: Part A is the score for the original composition, PendulumV: DM. Part B is a companion essay to the musical composition. Pendulum V: DM is a 17-minute work for large ensemble and live electronics. It was commissioned jointly by the Wet Ink Ensemble and AMP, with support from the TANK performance space and the National Endowment for the Arts. The piece was premiered on November 10th, 2009 by the Wet Ink Ensemble, under the direction of Carl Bettendorf at the TANK in Manhattan, NY. Pendulum V: DM is the most ambitious presentation of many concepts that have been critical to my recent musical thinking--namely, the use of physical movement and shape as models for musical structure and texture; the relationship of timbre and texture to the cognition of structural complexity; the paradox of difference and repetition; the ambiguity between physical gesture and audible structure; and the use of various characteristics of schizophrenia (considered as a virtual phenomenon rather than an actual clinical condition) as a model for the representation of expansion and interconnectivity. In the companion essay I will discuss the ideas listed above, show how they are related to one another, and demonstrate how in some respects they are all individually analogous to multiple characteristics of an important unifying model for many of my compositions: pendulums. I will alternate between technical and aesthetic descriptions of the work, in order to demonstrate how these ideas have been musically integrated. I will also refer to other recent compositions of mine (String Quartet No. 3: "lift-tilt-filter-split" and Pendulum VI: "Trigger") that are closely related in order to show how these concepts and practices have been used in other instrumental contexts. Referencing these peripheral works will also demonstrate how my ideas relating to musical form have evolved, and how the fundamental musical materials and processes used within these forms have proliferated. Additionally, I will reference other important influences (including Gilles Deleuze, Samuel Beckett, clocks, comic-book characters, gestalt theory) in the hopes of getting closer to the broader social meanings embodied by the work.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Lerdahl, Alfred
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
February 1, 2013