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When standing between two mirrors, a person will see ever smaller copies of his or her own image extending ad infinitum. "Mise en abyme," which literally means "placed into abyss," is a formal technique in which an image is duplicated, made smaller, and placed within the original image. The same procedure can be applied recursively to the smaller image an infinite number of times. In the process of sketching out the formal plan of the piece, I experimented with various ways to graphically represent the formal structure of the piece. The visual layout of the charts, influenced by the Mise en abyme technique, contains a certain amount of recursion, which informs the musical decisions that I made. In the first movement, the proportion of sections, sub-sections and phrases is determined by the formal chart. For example, the ratio between the first and the second section is 5:4, and the ratio between the second and the third section is 4:3 etc.. The sub-sections are also subject to proportional restrictions. The gradually shortening length of each section and its sub-sections creates an effect of increasing nested acceleration. The second movement is characterized by a quiet lyricism and is not restrained by a strict formal plan. The third movement features different combinations of figurations determined by a specific chart. The essential musical gestures of the first movement (i.e. repeated notes and dynamic swells) are brought back and accompanied by a stronger rhythmic drive.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Ladislav Kubik, Committee Member; Evan Allan Jones, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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