Mandy Stefanakis

Research area: Conceptualisation of the composing process from a phenomenological perspective

I am interested in how composers make choices about the sounds they combine and how, from a phenomenological perspective, this may be influenced by a tacit understanding of the interaction of bodies, minds and emotions with sound, based on sound parameters.

How do such decisions form composer identities or signatures: how is it that the music we compose is an essence of who we are?

The psychiatrist and music writer, Anthony Storr, says, ‘I don’t think anyone who knows Haydn’s music can fail to recognize that some of the characteristics of his personality are embedded in it’.

Is this purely a contextual phenomenon, this choosing of sounds to convey meaning and to explore and express aspects of self?

I am composing a series of works for the research with the intention of having the pieces performed ‘live’. I perceive the performer or interpreter to be part of the composing process in that what they bring to a piece of music is a sound transaction.

The identity of the interpreter is as important as that of the composer. Is intended meaning altered in this transaction and if so, how and does it matter?