At the Borders of Music, Art and Text

Exploring an interdisciplinary approach to composition
A research project by Caitlin Rowley


This project would not have been possible without the contributions and support of many, many people:

Firstly, I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr Sam Hayden, and my composition teachers Errollyn Wallen, MBE and Dr Paul Newland, for their insight and inspiration, and for encouraging me down new paths.

I would also like to thank all my performers, and especially those who commissioned new pieces from me – the Trinity Laban Chamber Choir and their conductor Stephen Jackson, who commissioned Drowning Songs, Simon Oliver Marsh who requested a song cycle about Dartmoor, Alexandra Kremakova who asked for More or Less and performed it in the 2014 John Halford Competition, and Rebecca Cohen for initiating the Two Fish project. From the Chamber Choir, Angela Hicks and Lewis Raines in particular for allowing me to interview them about the contextual material in Drowning Songs.

My thanks, too, to Richard Long for his permission to use his textworks as the text for a song cycle.

Dr Dominic Murcott for his unfailing encouragement and timely comments which in particular this year have helped me gain clarity over the role of my art in relation to my music – and for introducing me to John Lely and James Saunders’ Word Events: Perspectives on Verbal Notation which proved such a fascinating book.

Dr Sophie Fuller for her practical support and advice, and perennial cheeriness.

I am also grateful for the support of a TCL Scholarship this year, and for bursaries from the Post-Graduate Bursary Fund and The Music Students Hostel Trust Fund, which have enabled me to stay on at Trinity Laban to undertake this project.

Finally, I would like to thank my fiancé, John, for his continuing practical and emotional support throughout my studies.

Caitlin Rowley