Macquarie University
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The 'autonomized performer': operatic voice and looping

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posted on 2022-03-28, 15:11 authored by Heather Grace Keens
"Autonomized" (Hughes 2015) performance describes the "multi-faceted solo performer" enabled through modern music technology. Digital looping, a key technology in autonomized performance, captures, repeats, and processes live recordings, and is a creative instrumental and rhythmic performance tool used by many contemporary and popular artists. As composer, arranger and instrumentalist, the looping singer is empowered to create new and experimental modes of performance, adding new reflective knowledge after the event. This thesis examines autonomized performance in the context of new opera practice, in contrast to the traditional approach performed in main stream repertoire. Through practice based research and the analysis of current looping artists, it explores vocal looping as a creative and compositional tool to extend operatic performance and composition. A major component of this thesis includes original creative work that incorporates looping and autonomized operatic singing, culminating an analysis of the creative component and implications for artists exploring autonomized vocals with looping technology.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 : Introduction -- Chapter 2 : Literature review -- Chapter 3 : Methodology : Theory and implementation -- Chapter 4 : Performer practice analyses -- Chapter 5 : Creative work, development and performance -- Chapter 6 : Conclusion.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 78-85

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communications and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Sarah Keith

Additional Supervisor 1

Andrew Robson


Copyright Heather Grace Keens 2019 Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (vii, 95 pages) : | illustrations, music score

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