WREN, Toby Christopher

PhD Griffith University 2015 Pages: 256

Improvising Culture: Discursive Interculturality as a Critical Tool, Aesthetic, and Methodology for Intercultural Music

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Link to Thesis: https://www120.secure.griffith.edu.au/rch/file/ee4303d3-fab1-478a-bf82-4c66ab07b0c8/1/Wren_2015_02Thesis.pdf

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This research considers musicians from different cultural backgrounds, improvising together, and ‘improvising’ new musical contexts. It springs from my practice as a composer and improvising guitarist, exploring the borders between South Indian Carnatic music and jazz. The process of collaborating with musicians from different traditions raises questions about the ways that musicians draw on their acquired knowledge in the production of intercultural music: How do musicians from different cultures interpret each others’ musical gestures and negotiate a cohesive performance? At play throughout the dissertation are the conflicting notions of individual expression, and culturally derived archetypal models of expression. The relationship between musicians and cultures is explored through an ethnographic methodology. The dissertation begins with a critical review of the literature on intercultural hybridity that reveals the way that power inequalities have historically characterised many of the exchanges between the West and its Others...

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