The intersection of light and sound: an examination of compositional approaches in multimedia works for electric guitar and visual projections (Lecture-Recital)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera

Abstract

This lecture-recital examines the use of visual projections and visual effects in works for electric guitar, providing a brief overview of existing compositions, and exploring in depth the approaches utilised in two new works commissioned by the author.

The use of light to accompany and augment musical performance has its origins in the 1920ʼs, with Thomas Wilfredʼs (1889‒1968) evolving art form known as “Lumina”. While the popular music industry has long embraced such immersive, multimedia performances which utilise lighting, projections and visual effects, such performances are a relative rarity even within the realm of contemporary classical music, and rarer still in works involving the electric guitar, though recent decades have seen an increase in the number of compositions for the instrument which include a visual element. The use of visuals in these works varies widely, ranging from pre-recorded projections which simply play back over the course of a performance, to complex and newly invented lighting mechanisms that interact and respond to the music in real time. The latter is in some ways related to “visual music”, a discipline primarily concerned with the conversion of sound into visual forms.

While there is a significant body of scholarly literature relating to the use of visual elements in music performance and composition more generally, their use in works for electric guitar is a topic that has received scant attention. This study will provide a brief synopsis of the approaches utilised in the existing repertoire, before focusing on works by Icelandic composer Gulli Bjornsson and Australian composer Victor Arul, both commissioned by the author.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2021
EventThe 21st Century Guitar : Unconventional Approaches to Performance, Composition and Research - Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (conducted virtually) , Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 22 Mar 202126 Mar 2021
https://www.21cguitar.com/livestream

Conference

ConferenceThe 21st Century Guitar
CountryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period22/03/2126/03/21
Internet address

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