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Distortions of space and time in Harrison Birtwistle’s Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum (1977)

Dickinson, J (2016) Distortions of space and time in Harrison Birtwistle’s Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum (1977). In: Music, Art and Philosophy in Dialogue, 20 - 21 May 2016, Paul Klee Centre & University of Bern, Switzerland.

Abstract

It was Stockhausen who declared that Klee was ‘the greatest teacher of composition' when handing his Bauhaus notebooks ‘Das Bildnerische Denken’ (Artistic Thought) to Pierre Boulez. One of the fundamental aspects of Klee’s legacy to musical creativity lies within his manipulation of space and time. This paper explores the perception these elements in Carmen, extending previous studies by taking an intermedial approach to musical - pictorial analysis. This hybridised approach to analysis, presents new insights into the way Birtwistle employs Klee’s theories to transcend the constraints of clock time and Euclidean geometry.This paper analyses Birtwhistle’s pre-compositional sketch plan, held at the Paul Sacher institute in Basel, alongside a detailed study of the painting Twittering Machine (1922. 151) and relevant pedagogical sketches from his notebooks. This analytical approach reveals how Birtwistle's polytemporal musical structures reflect the poetic –tectonic tensions of the painting from which they are derived.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2016 15:46
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2016 14:26
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/7331
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