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Creating a place : women, land and improvisation


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Breen, Andrea 2000 , 'Creating a place : women, land and improvisation', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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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
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.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Breen, Andrea
Keywords: Women composers, Improvisation (Music), Landscapes in art
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

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).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2000. Includes bibliographical references

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