Daily Choices - narrativity in a multimedia concert

 

Introduction

 

The final project for my Master's exam was a multimedia concert, comprising five pieces that I had developed during my studies in Hamburg. In this last chapter of my thesis I will try to demonstrate the use of narrative throughout the concert with the help of previously described techniques and other compositional tools. The narrativity of the various composition methods involved will be emphasized by explaining their purpose in relationship with the narration of my ideas. Daily Choices (subtitled Multimedia Duets) was a story-concert with five independent chapters. It took place in the Forum of the Academy for Music and Theatre in Hamburg on the 5th of June 2011. Although the five pieces did not share the same theme, there was a main concept of the concert, explained in the quoted text below. A programme was distributed to the audience, containing short texts to accompany the pieces. Even if these texts do not support the narrative of the pieces in the way program music does (e.g. “Fantastic Symphony” by Hector Berlioz), they do have two important roles: to stimulate the public’s interest and attention (like the trailer of a film) and to provide some information about the technical and aesthetic issues approached. Though this might seem like a counterargument to the intrinsic narrative of the pieces, I believe that the narrativity lies somewhere between the composition, the artistic outcome and the perception of the public, while the texts, together with the titles of the pieces, are only an extra feature. Nonetheless, I will cite these texts for a better understanding of the whole experience of the concert and because they offer a reasonable starting point of discussion.

 

It is significant to mention that the main programming part of composition for all the pieces was realized with the software Max/MSP/Jitter (Cycling '74). Other applications used in the process of composition/performance were Ableton Live with Max4Live, Apple Logic, Spear and JackTrip for audio and Adobe AfterEffects, Adobe Premiere Pro and Autodesk 3ds Max for videos.

 

Daily Choices
Multimedia Duets
 

The decisions we make reflect most upon our true selves. Whether it is embracing a profession or opting for what to eat every day, each decision has a smaller or greater impact on our lives and personalities. Some of the choices we make are a result of profound judgment, while many others do not seem of much importance.
 
At the same time, from the moment we are born, many aspects of our lives are already established by the background we inherit, while even more are determined by the rules and customs of our societies. This should raise the level of awareness in relation to the authenticity of our free will. We are in a perpetual struggle to drive our freedom around the pillars of the various systems we are expected to adapt to.
 
Our instinct of conservation pushes us to always choose the best thing for ourselves, but the complexity of the human consciousness takes us far beyond this predisposition. People have been constantly working on developing valuable laws for harmonious interactions between the environment and its cohabitants.
 
Each of the five pieces examines a different perspective on the relationship between the power of decision and the impact it has on ourselves, on others or on the world we share. Since our day-to-day lifestyle is usually very alert, it is sometimes comforting to slow down a bit and reflect upon the things we take for granted.

 

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