Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Submitted to the Technological University Dublin Conservatoire for the award of PhD in Music Composition, September 2021.


This research project consists of a portfolio of eight works accompanied by a thesis, which offers analytical commentaries on all of the works and the composition processes therein. The title of the thesis, ‘Metamorphosis, Microtones and Modes’, alludes to the primary factors involved in the composition processes, from a research perspective, across the course of the project. The concept of metamorphosis was approached in the context of attempting to musically interpret the visual ideas of M.C. Escher, and was subsequently explored extensively throughout the portfolio works in the parameters of pitch material, rhythm, form and structure, texture, timbre, and also through the process of creating new works through sampling-based processes, using older, existing works as the source material. This last aspect was explored both in an electronic context and also in the creation of notated works.

The exploration of microtonal pitch material was a significant factor in the project, beginning in an electronic context, and subsequently in an instrumental setting. Likewise, the use modal pitch material in a linear and harmonic context was a consideration in many of the works, while several of the works explored both microtonality and modal material in parallel.

The portfolio encompasses works for a mixture of genres. There are multiple works for guitar in different settings, including solo guitar, guitar duo and microtonal guitar quartet, a large-scale collection of connected electronic works forms the centrepiece of the portfolio, and a work for string quartet, a work for solo organ and a work for mixed chamber ensemble also feature.



Technological University Dublin

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