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Pavakoothu

By Diana Simpson

Abstract

The word pavakoothu (puppet dance) is often used in references to Indian puppetry, particularly the practice of shadow puppetry. Consequently this piece is an exploration the act of puppetry through sound. The clarinet acts as a metaphorical 'puppeteer' within a sonic landscape which alludes to enchanted and ethereal elements. The dance of the puppets themselves is characterised by percussive sounds, and increased gestural energy towards the middle of the work At this point much of the sonic activity stems from the clarinet itself through live processing. Ultimately, all of the sound material stems from the clarinet, although this is not always apparent. The piece is characterised by the changing status of the puppeteer, the puppets, and the sonic landscape in which they exist. Traces of narrative or 'story' remain deliberately ambiguous throughout. With thanks to the clarinettists William Stafford and Thom Harrison for their assistance during the composition of this work, and to Esther Lamneck for premiering it

Topics: music
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.kingston.ac.uk:15848

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