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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Heave, Sway, Surge

  • Author(s): Davancens, Joseph
  • Advisor(s): Carson, Benjamin L
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License

Heave, Sway, Surge (2014–19) is a musical composition for nine instruments that attempts to evoke the subjectivity of a body in motion by deploying sound-mass textures that rely on transitional acoustic states. It uses motion and force as its musical material and a system of notation in which acoustic parameters are represented vertically against horizontal time, with line segments plotting their continuous values; and shows discrete positions and configurations as tablature. The production of the score relied on a suite of software tools that formalizes musical materials, compositional processes and score structures in an object-oriented fashion, and typesets a score in PDF format for digital distribution and printing. This essay provides historical context for my aspirations with this work, discusses the modeling of instrumental performance parameters, details he notation system designed for the score, describes the architecture and development process of the software, and illustrates the decisions involved in the composition of the work.

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