Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


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


Performing arts studies, Musicology

Publication Details

Thesis submitted to the Technological University Dublin in candidature for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, August 2013.


This research examines how the designing of a new performance practice based on the incorporation of custom digital signal processing software impacts on solo improvised woodwind performance. Through the development of bespoke software, I investigate how these new technologies can be integrated into solo woodwind performance practice. This research presents a new improvised music practice as well as a suite of new software tools and performance techniques. Through a workshop and performance-­‐based research process, a suite of software processors are developed which respond, and are complementary, to a personalised style of improvised performance. This electronic augmentation of the woodwind instrument (clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone and xaphoon) is tested over the course of thirty solo improvised performances. These performances are documented as audio files and analysed using methods derived from electroacoustic music practice. This research represents an important development in the emerging field of improvised music performance engaging with new digital technologies. The research is practice-­‐led from the viewpoint of an experienced performer and tested in real-­‐world situations, resulting in a useful research outputs embedded in the peer community. Examining the history of live electronic performance practice, this research situates itself within the field of expert performers who use digital processing in free improvisation contexts. A critical understanding of the processes involved allows this researcher to design a new performance practice more effectively. While research necessarily draws on my own performance practice, the knowledge generated will have broad relevance in the field and much of this work is applicable to non-­‐woodwind instrumentalists and singers. The research outputs include freely distributable software created during this project.