Four Stories - Contextual Statement

Horsley, Joshua Robert orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0089-5150 and Aveyard, Jon orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0063-6848 (2019) Four Stories - Contextual Statement. [Composition]

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2019 / Composition & Performance
w/ Jon Aveyard

Four Stories is a collaboration between Dr Joshua Horsley and Dr Jon Aveyard that constitutes a practice-based research output across the disciplines of music and sound art. A new site-specific composition performed by string quartet and tuned percussion throughout the 4-storey atrium of the Harris Museum, this innovative work represents the continuation of Horsley’s practice-based research into dialogues formed between music and sound art, and immersion and interaction.

Composed with a mixed-method approach over a two-year period, traditional notation, digital audio, acoustic, and interior architectural studies were all employed as part of the compositional process. Through these methods, a unique composition and performance is created that invites an audience to explore sonic interactions and musical arrangement through their spatial positioning throughout the 120ft high performance space. Indeed, the piece is completed by this audience interaction. The composition and performance’s unique use of space interrogates architecture qua music. Consonance, dissonance, melody, rhythm, and timbre are approached from the perspective of verticality whereby the acoustic spatialisation and diffusion of musical qualities meet the quantities and allowances of the architecture.

Contextually, the work continues the relationships between music, sound art, and architecture. The research’s exploration of listening through architecture has commonality with the work of Korinsky Studio’s Volum (2014) and 3845 m/s (2013). Through verticality, it finds association with Espen Sommer Eide and Signe Lidén’s Vertical Studies (2017). Four Stories innovates through its triangulation of principles of music, sound art, and architecture. It integrates spatiality, verticality, immersion and acoustics into its score and performance.

Produced by Into a Better Shape with support from Arts Council England, the University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire County Council, and Preston City Council, Four Stories was performed alongside Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music on 28th April 2019 at the Harris Art Gallery, Museum and Library, UK.

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