The Music History and Theory Study Group Presents:

Rebecca Flore
University of Chicago

Liminality and the Voice in the Works of Peter Ablinger

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Logan, 802

Download the Chapter Here

Although not associated with the spectral music movement borne out of IRCAM, Peter Ablinger composes music that shares commonalities with spectral music. Ablinger employs a technologically-aided compositional method rooted in spectral analysis and, more importantly for this study, explores the line between the spectra of complex sounds and harmony and between what Gérard Grisey (2000) calls the “outside-time” of conventional musical rhythm and the “biological rhythms” of spectral music. In Peter Ablinger’s Voices and Piano and Quadraturen—two pieces that use recorded speech as their compositional objects—this liminality manifests itself in a multitude of ways. Drawing on ideas from the disciplines of linguistics, psychoacoustics, sound studies, and performance studies, this chapter will examine in the aforementioned works the blending of speech and music, noise and music, and what Nicholas Cook (2003) would call the set “text” of the recording and the performative “script” of the notated or transcribed music.

Anabel Maler will serve as respondent.

A special message from Rebecca:
The deadline for initial submission to the editor of this chapter isn’t until February, so I wanted to get feedback pretty early on in the writing process. I’d like to know what you all think works, what doesn’t, and what seems underexplored. I’m also concerned that the leap from music analysis in the first section to more musicological concerns for the rest of the paper seems jarring. On a more pragmatic level, I’m limited in the number of examples I can include so if any seem superfluous I’d love advice on which to cut. Please ignore the fact that there are in-text citations and footnotes—I’m not sure what the final style guide will be, so I’ve been doing both.

For a primer to the music this paper covers, check out:

“A Letter from Schoenberg” from Quadraturen

“Arnold Schoenberg” from Voices and Piano

If anyone is interested in hearing the other movements discussed in the paper, most if not all of them can be found on the composer’s website.

Persons who believe they may require accommodations to participate fully in this event should contact the coordinator, Bradley Spiers at, in advance.

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