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UAL Research Online

Gharnati (musical composition)

Jones, Stuart (2007) Gharnati (musical composition). [Performance]

Type of Research: Performance
Creators: Jones, Stuart

'Gharnati' was commissioned by the violinist Madeleine Mitchell and the percussion group Ensemble Bash, as part of their collaboration 'Fiddlesticks'. It explores, in a contemporary music context, the relationship between the Andalusian (Moroccan) and Western Classical musical traditions. When the Andalusian culture was driven out of Spain in the Reconquista, its remnants moved to the Maghreb, carrying its musical traditions with them. This highly developed art music has been preserved there, particularly in Morocco, until now. What is not well-known is that this music was a key factor in the development of Western art music. At the time that it was flourishing in Spain, it served as a model for the courtly music of the Western European Kingdoms – its system of unstable modes leading eventually to the modulatory key system, and its structure of an extended series of related movements (Tarab) to the suite and variation forms.

In Gharnati I play this relationship out in a set of variations which form a series of dances as in the Suite form, seeming to modulate, but in fact adhering strictly to the Andalusian mode Zaydan and the rhythmic schema of the Tarab Gharnati. The music refers explicitly to Baroque and pre-Boroque playing styles, and to the present day playing style of Moroccan Andalusian music. These are filtered through a contemporary musical vocabulary and style. This commission was an opportunity to draw attention to the continuing cross-fertilisation between Islamic and Western cultures, and the crucial contribution of Islamic arts and sciences to the development of European culture in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Other Contributors:
MusicianMitchell, Madeleine
Other Corporate or Group Contributors:
RoleOther Corporate or Group Contributors
MusicianEnsemble Bash
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Stuart Jones: Research Interests

Development and application of interactive technologies in the built environment.
Use of sound to reconfigure our perceptions of space and vice versa.
Use of data sonification to communicate information about the environment in real time.

Use of interaction, in conjunction with other media, to create narrative environments.
Development of a body of theory to underpin creative practice for narrative environments

Current Research

My practice is mainly in installation or performative work, but also encompassing linear video and film, and often in collaboration with artists from other disciplines. My current key research interests are in the relationship of sound to space, and how they reconfigure each other, and in interaction, and how it may be imbedded in spaces and spatial narratives. My practice started out in musical composition, performance and improvisation, but soon branched out into installation, spreading sound and performance through spaces. I first used a computer to make a piece in 1972 and made my first interactive installation in 1973. My then attraction to interactivity derived from my interest in the balance of forces in the triangle between the maker, the audience and the resulting artefact/event, and how it might be changed by giving the audience increased agency. The agency of the audience or user remains the key concern which underlies my research: how can we use interactive technology to enable people to have realistic and valuable-to-them dialogue with and control over the artefacts and buildings that surround them? What role can sound play in such a discourse? Research in which I am currently engaged includes examining how children move from an intradiegetic to an extradiegetic position as they mature, and the implications this has for interaction design, especially in narrative environments; and the development of theory to populate an online thesaurus of terms, concepts, images and other media, as they apply in the creation and understanding of narrative environments.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2 October 2007
Related Websites: http://www.wawamoz.com/music/Gharnati.html
Related Websites:
Measurements or Duration of item: 13 minutes, 56 seconds
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 22:34
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2014 12:35
Item ID: 1632
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1632

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