Unlocking the unconventional: investigating the multifaceted role of the contemporary violinist with new perspectives on style, collaboration and innovation: Accompanying examples and excerpts from music recordings as components of a PhD by Published Work

Darragh Morgan (Artist)

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    Abstract

    Over the past twenty-five years, I have accumulated a significant body of internationally acclaimed work, in the form of performances, broadcasts and recordings of contemporary music featuring the violin. In this project, I focus on six of my CD recordings to illustrate how my unique playing style has been influential in the creation of new compositions and in the realisation of innovative interpretations of existing works.

    I trace how I have forged my musical and technical approaches from a combination of influences ranging from baroque to Irish traditional music and how my contact with seminal figures such as Paul Zukofsky and John Tilbury has shaped my views on interpretation of contemporary music across a range of genres.
    In my recording of Morton Feldman’s 'For John Cage', I demonstrate how my use of a baroque bow brings a new sense of lightness and stillness to the violin music. My recording of Donnacha Dennehy’s 'Elastic Harmonic' demonstrates how application of the technical approaches to bowing and fingering I have developed in many performances of minimalist music, facilitates a highly vivid, colourful and original interpretation.

    Intensive collaboration with composers, reflected in the works, 'Opera' by Morgan Hayes, 'Seven States of Rain' by Richard Causton, 'thirty-nine pages' by Paul Whitty and 'Some of Its Parts' by Jonty Harrison has led to the co-creation of innovative performance techniques which realises and brings to life some of their original ideas.
    The substantive collaborative relationship I have developed with composer Michael Finnissy, has informed interpretations in recordings of three significant works: 'Seterjentens fridag', 'Mississippi Hornpipes' and the 'Violin Sonata'. In my discussion of these compositions, I demonstrate how the Irish traditional music influences in my style accentuates the folk- influence which underpins Finnissy’s complex musical language.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationNorthern Ireland
    PublisherUlster University
    EditionPhD by Published Work
    Media of outputCD
    Size2-3 Gb (approx.)
    Publication statusPublished online - 12 Jun 2023

    Bibliographical note

    Note: the author of this PhD has assured the department that the relevant publishers and rights holders for these releases have given permission for them to be featured on this repository for scholarly purposes. These materials are archived here in support of the accompanying dissertation. All rights reserved by the respective rights holders.

    Keywords

    • contemporary
    • music
    • performance
    • violin
    • fingering
    • Baroque
    • traditional
    • influences
    • interpretation
    • composition
    • composers
    • bow-hold
    • technique
    • bowing

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