University of Tasmania
whole_BreenAndrea2000_thesis.pdf (17.02 MB)

Creating a place : women, land and improvisation

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posted on 2023-05-27, 08:40 authored by Breen, Andrea
Being a woman-in-the-world is a cacophony of experiences in which place and improvised events ceaselessly vibrate. For artists this resonance can be consciously generative or circulate at a deeper layer of creativity. At whatever level they voice their presence, sense of place and improvisatory practice are in constant process of becoming. In this interdisciplinary thesis I seek to present a more enriched way of being-in-the-world for women through presenting sonorities of emplacement and improvisatory practice as rhizomes of transformation. The intertext of the biophysical world is infused with phenomena which parallel improvisatory events, and so in the first 'sounding' the concept of place is explored by way of 'outside' space and its common referents 'nature', 'landscape' and 'wilderness'. These terms have been feminized in the traditions of Western representation and I attempt to recuperate them through a sense of the feminine that comes from attunement rather than from objectification. Improvisation for women is fraught with 'garrison' rules that almost preclude participation. I argue in the second 'sounding' that nonidiomatic improvisation may offer a non-gendered space in which women improvisers can voice their desires without the constrictions of masculinist models of desire and closure. An important facet of this process has been interviews with nonindigenous women composers who use improvisatory gestures and 'land' resonances in their compositions. Drawing on interviews with Miriam Hyde, Ros Bandt, Hazel Smith, Anne Boyd and Moya Henderson, I propose that diversity and multiplicity in women's serious art-music in Australia are often expressed through improvisatory gesture or in a subtext of improvisatory intentions through which signifiers of openness and interrelatedness are sounded. My own journey, has been a cyclical process of displacement and emplacement. By way of improvisatory practice I have been able to express that process in my compositions. In the final 'sounding' I describe the process of making the two recordings included with this thesis: the sound installations for the collaborative women's exhibition Will the real Australia please stand up.. .a travelogue, and the CD improvisation-image-voice, a collection of improvisations to the readings of four Tasmanian women poets who respond to sense of place. As creativity for me has incorporated performance, I conclude with reflections on performances with the poet Sue Moss that grew from the recording process.


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Copyright 2000 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2000. Includes bibliographical references

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