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Thesis 1

Thesis Title: Suspended Animation: A Critical Analysis and Aesthetic Interpretation of Roger Doyle’s Babel
Degree Type: PhD
Degree Specialism: Analysis
Supervisor(s): Dr Gordon Delap, Dr Alison Hood
Thesis Status: Submitted
Date Submitted / Accepted: 2010
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: NUI, Maynooth
Thesis Location / Link: eprints.nuim.ie/2285/
Persons / Composers: Roger Doyle
Abstract: This thesis centres on the critical analysis, explication and aesthetic interpretation of Doyle’s masterwork in accordance with a combinative research model devised primarily from the adoption and adaptation of existing analytical theories, processes and methods of listening, traditional and electroacoustic musicology including Denis Smalley’s Spectromorphology, in addition to secondary spectral, transcriptional and textual analyses. It is concerned with the work as it is presented, above all, the nature and character of its music. With this in mind, the salient elements of Doyle’s musical language in Babel are explored incorporating his use of an ‘Imposed Babel Structure’ and the explicit existence of a unique multifarious ‘Babel-language’. The work is deconstructed with a view to illustrating its extensive innate characteristics through an examination of musical examples from across the work prior to being reconstructed by tracing trajectory paths of significant musical content so as to provide conclusive evidence of the existent links and connections between pieces and spaces, which serve to bring the work together into a coherent whole. Analytical data is substantiated by spectral analysis detail, aural transcriptions, literary review and composer and performer–collaborator affirmation. Finally, the work is evaluated aesthetically with due consideration for the importance of its contribution to electroacoustic music nationally and internationally.

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