Facilitating Heterarchic Collaboration: Practice-led Research and the Promotion of Egalitarian Compositional Creativity

Murray, Sam. 2020. Facilitating Heterarchic Collaboration: Practice-led Research and the Promotion of Egalitarian Compositional Creativity. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis interrogates and creatively explores the author's professional collaborative practice as composer and musician, using an ethnomusicological approach layered with performance to establish a new interactive composition environment. The exploration of theoretical and observational principles from ethnomusicology and contemporary music technology discourse are used to give new form to the author's practice; a process explored through the demonstrative portfolio of works and their analysis. New knowledge is created by:

1.Deconstructing composition and performance paradigms (including the author's) using theatrical/ musical performance models
2.Interrogating the findings from point 1. from the angle of both researcher and subject
3.Using the findings to develop unique software (AMP) that utilises FMOD sound engine technology
4.Using AMP to create an interactive multi-user client-server network as an alternative/augmentation to the author's historic collaborative compositional approach; contributing new knowledge through the assimilation of modern gaming technology and collaborative composition and performance analysis

This thesis explores the process, development, and experience from the angle of actor and originator of interactive apparatus. It is a new approach to the author's collaborative composition, and an ethnographic report on the processes involved in its development. Socio-musical networks of interaction from Peru and Cuba are examined from the perspective of performance and ethnomusicology; extrapolating directions to assist the author's artistic output through technology, and contribute to the academic understanding of culture-speci'c paradigms of musical creativity.

The portfolio contains seven titled pieces, with each piece being presented through multiple variations. All titled pieces have been produced using AMP; illustrating the creative journey (through (auto)ethnographic observation) that harnesses modern gaming's recent focus on the exploration of terrain rather than winning.The works highlight the author's relationship with inter-personal, interactive music practice and explore how processes of musical creativity could be addressed in their professional environment, and in the wider context of musical interactivity discourse.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):



Collaborative composition; performance theory; ethnomusicology; performance; virtual world; practice-led research; creativity

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



30 November 2020

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

25 Jun 2021 14:16

Last Modified:

30 Nov 2023 02:26



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