By the same authors

Sculpting sound: metaphor, material and contemporary music

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper




OtherThe Edge of Sculpture
CountryUnited Kingdom
Conference date(s)8/05/178/05/17
Internet address

Publication details

DateUnpublished - 8 May 2017
Original languageEnglish


Of the many transformations in music since the breakdown of tonality, perhaps one of the most profound has been a shift in governing metaphor from the idea of discourse and narrative to one which prioritises the sculptural possibilities of sound. Such a change in perspective allows a radically different approach to composition, where mass, density and transparency of material alongside the structural use of timbre replace such traditional concepts as melody, harmony and phrase. A brief survey of key works illustrating this ‘sculptural turn’ in music will conclude with a discussion of two recent pieces which respond to the ceramic art of Edmund de Waal: Psalm, for spatialised ensemble of 13 players and The White Road, for flute and orchestra.

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