Journey to the West
Journey to the West (2013) is a composition written for the Electronic Chamber Orchestra (EChO) at Florida State University and orchestral accompaniment. EChO is a completely electronic ensemble that consists of an electric string quintet, two electronic wind insturments (EWI), Malletkat and Yamaha DTX (Percussion MIDI Controllers) and a MIDI Keyboard whose sounds are processed and produced by computers in real-time and amplified in a hexaphonic surround sound system. All of this process can be automated by a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), a software computer application for manipulating and sequencing audio and midi data, and controlled my a mixing engineer with various MIDI Controllers. The purpose of this work was to include EChO in an acoustical setting with a live orchestra and have a wealth of compositional and acoustical possibilities with the extension created by EChO. The work is based on the epic Chinese novel of the same name, or è¥¿éè¨ in Chinese, written by Wu Cheng'en in the 16th century. It is composed in three movements each with significant characters and themes being represented in musical form and aided by artist drawings played in synchronization with music as it continues. Each movement has specific character themes that follow them throughout their journey. The themes are intended to sound like traditional folk songs of China but to my knowledge have no actual basis in any that exist. The first movement depicts the first 13 chapters from the story. The chapter tells the background of Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King in English translations. , in the setting of the scene EChO is able to replicate sounds that are reminiscent of ancient China. The second movement, Tripitaka (The Monk), depicts the background story of the main character of the same name. Moving away from the first movement's primarily pentatonic mode, the second movement extends into other diatonic modes to give a more tonal support to the monk's serene character. This movement also has an octatonic section, to portray his father's brutal murder, which occurred before he was born. The last movement, The Journey, is a collage of many different characters throughout the novel. It depicts the entire journey from the moment after Sun Wukong and Tripitaka meet. They encounter friendly and evil demons along their way to India. When reaching India they eventually finish their journey at the Temple of the Thunderclap and reach enlightenment. EChO is integral to allowing the soundscape to move between different worlds of water, air, and other transcended landscapes throughout the Journey to the West.
Composition, EChO, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Music, Orchestra
April 11, 2013.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Mark Wingate, Professor Directing Thesis; Ladislav Kubik, Committee Member; Clifton Callender, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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