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Improvised practice and tools for the unknown

Challenger, T. (2022). Improvised practice and tools for the unknown. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, City University London)


In this thesis I critically investigate notations for saxophone I have produced (2018– 2020), that contribute to the preparatory processes and outcomes which accompany a solo, improvised practice. The aim of this focus is to contribute productively towards and create further awareness of the practical milieu I participate within, whilst actively maintaining and providing new trajectories for my artistic practice.

Recognising Jazz and Improvised Music as the musical context I seek to build upon, I introduce various theoretical viewpoints, in particular Tim Ingold’s notion of Correspondence (1) and Shaun Gallagher’s conceptual clarification of The Body Image and Schema (2), in order that a fuller understanding of some of the implications of this thesis are understood. Primarily, I argue for the importance of engaging with the ‘unknown,’ by which embodied processes co-exist and correspond with my tools of engagement, to facilitate artistic work without specific ‘end-goals’ and clearly delineated componentry.

The analysis concerns itself with the introduction of five main works for saxophone, alongside the necessary consideration of my practice surrounding this research. Labtayt Sulci, Tin Paths, Shadow(s), For Two Hands and T-R all investigate different approaches to notation, improvisation and instrumentalism, in an attempt to reveal processual traits that accompany the work. I then filter the findings of the analysis through fields related to the practical and theoretical contexts I outlined in Chapter 1, focussing in particular upon the function of both Body Image and Body Schema in my improvised practice.

1 Tim Ingold, The Life of Lines (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2015), 154-155.
2 Shaun Gallagher, "Body Image and Body Schema: A Conceptual Clarification." The Journal of Mind and Behaviour 7, no. 2 (Autumn 1986), 541-554.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
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