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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Composing Metaphors

  • Author(s): Welsh, Ryan Patrick
  • Advisor(s): Reynolds, Roger
  • et al.

After the premiere performance of my String Quartet No. 1: Convergences, my advisor, Roger Reynolds, posed a daunting and challenging question. This question has guided my reflections on how to define the progress I have made as a composer while pursuing my Ph.D. at UCSD. Professor Reynolds asked me to discuss what has changed in my music from the time I began my study in 2008 until now.

I believe the fundamental issue at hand is not what has changed in my music, but rather, why my music has changed. From these beliefs and underpinnings, I will discuss my older music, my compositional process and the issues that exist for me as a composer. I will use my piano solo, Lattice, Cobwebs, Tunnels, and Spirals, to illustrate the culmination and development of a new understanding of composition. Then I will reference String Quartet No. 1: Convergences as a case study to illustrate my new process and show its extensibility to new domains, such as electronic processing.

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