From body schema to score: creating spatial grammars in contemporary electric guitar practice by Daryl Buckley

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Johnson (1987) and Acitores’ (2011) work in defining body schema as a form of consciousness potentially offers a new platform for reconceptualising musical relations spatially. What if music composition, traditionally considered as the temporal organisation of parameters of pitch, timbre and rhythm, can be approached through embodiment, through a more visceral approach to abstracted domains? My research investigates how a performer’s inherent proprioceptive knowledge can be accessed and manipulated through metaphors, cognitive structuring that might then describe possible organisation of sonic behaviours.

My methodology is to examine and commission scores that choreograph performative behaviours (Cassidy, 2007; McCormack, 2012–13, Sergeant 2012–13) as well as scores that compose sonic materials directly (Barrett, 2012–14). Fragments of the thinking articulated within the PhD can be found in my practice as far back as several decades ago and have been re-examined within this lens.

I will investigate the roles metaphor can play in engendering a personalised set of gestural possibilities; how internalised body schema can then be enacted and understood through interpretative patterning, how these personal accounts of a relational articulation of the body externalised as a score offer insights and potentials for establishing new vocabularies in electric lap-steel guitar practice.

Year: 2015
Examiners: Dr David Kim-Boyle, Dr Gregory Hooper  Supervisors: Assoc Professor Lawrence Harvey, Dr Marcelo Stamm


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