3. S.O.A.P. in Practice

Until recently, I was unable to define what distinguishes my compositional practice from others’. When I was introduced to acousmatic music in 2014, I was awestruck by the near limitless possibilities of sound and the instinctual nature of composing with sound surprised me the most. Although I was not using the standard foundations of chord progressions or tonality/atonality, I was able to compose freely, hearing in my ‘mind’s ear’ what should come next. It was like a return to the freedom of writing little melodies as a child, before I learned music theory. I quickly found myself overwhelmed by this freedom. Any sound could be manipulated in any number of ways and that was a daunting prospect. I believe that I work best when there are rules and restrictions in place and acousmatic music gave me the ability to choose my own rules, whether limiting my tools, the sound material, the process or a mixture of the three. I am always most creative when I work with restrictions. 


Such conscious restrictions direct my creativity and sometimes force me to address my subconscious tendencies. In each work in this portfolio, I have worked with limitations – some more restrictive than others. From this, I developed the S.O.A.P. framework that allowed me to notice my own compositional tendencies so that I may consciously develop these in future works.


As well as writing detailed descriptions for each of the pieces I have also included their programme notes in the following sections. While this may result in repetition of information, the inclusion of programme notes shows the information an audience would have for each piece in the context of a performance.