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Idiosyncratic concepts in the music of Henry Threadgill's Zooid : an applied investigation into compositional and improvisational techniques

posted on 2023-05-28, 10:11 authored by Hill, GK
The purpose of this research is to investigate the music of Henry Threadgill's Zooid, focusing on compositional and improvisational techniques, and how these function in an ensemble setting. Discoveries from this research will be used to advance the author's creative practice; a folio of original compositions and performance recordings exploring Threadgill's ideas will be included in this project. Henry Threadgill has stated in recent interviews that he has developed an intervalbased harmonic system and a modular approach to form in his current ensemble, Zooid. These innovations result in a dynamic and original sound, absent of traditional harmonic movement and obvious structure. The processes behind this music have not been extensively explored; little research has been performed on this original musical system, while Threadgill's interviews have provided little clarification of his approach. This research seeks to illuminate this highly acclaimed composer's groundbreaking music. Amongst other awards, Threadgill's recent Zooid album In For A Penny In For A Pound received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for composition. This project will be achieved through a number of activities including: interviews with musicians in Zooid and those connected with Threadgill, transcription and analysis of a number of Zooid's recorded pieces, and the creation and performance of new works inspired by Threadgill's approach for Zooid. For the author, Threadgill's music is inspiring and intriguing. This research will lead into new areas and provide a contrasting creative approach to that of the author's. It is hoped that this project may also inspire others to explore Threadgill's approach to music.


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  • Unpublished

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Copyright 2017 the author

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  • Open

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