Project Title: The Psychology Of Limitations In Contemporary Music Practice
Supervisors: Dr. Adam Hart, Dr. Brendan Williams, Professor Alan Williams
The aim of my research project is the identification of the complex relationship between technology, creativity and musical aesthetics. Considering the technological growth and media evolution, a great focus would be the investigation of the core issues related to the absence of boundaries in the modern music practices. In fact, it has been demonstrated that complete freedom can severely limit the creativity while constraints tend to amplify creativeness and opportunity for artistic expression. Although all of the previous investigations on choice overload have been originally related to consumerism, my study aims to extend this phenomenon specifically to the creative process in the music production and modern composition. Limitations in music can affect the following:
- input stage (instruments and tools for the creation and development of the work)
- the process stage (the activities and how the previously mentioned concept of flow could be employed in the creative practice)
- the output stage (reproduction standards, market audience and genre definition)
The analysis will be divided into three different parts in order to understand what are the constraints that affect the final result and how composers overcome their consequences.
On the other hand, an ultimate target of this study is to motivate artists to use the technological tools currently available, applying non-standardised techniques taking the feature of restrictive instructions as part of the creative process.
During my professional years, I have always been enthusiastic to expand my knowledge of the sound art and I feel fascinated by this ever-evolving world full of new challenges. The idea of starting a PhD program emerged from a retrospective study on the creative procedure with the aim of exploring the problem of choice overload in relation to the music practice. The variety of potential options offered by modern progress guided me to the development of musical works that are based on the feature of limitations as creative strategy. The restrictive aspects and elements of the art form, while still offering information for numerous outcomes, encouraged me to direct my thoughts and ideas more effectively giving it cohesiveness. The completion of this project led to a successful original composition signed with a notable music label and a streaming on one of the BBC Radio 1 episodes.