Chilnualna: Numerology, Speech Orchestration, and Natural Sound (2019)

"This dissertation consists of five musical works composed at Stanford University between 2014 and 2019. In the following sections, I will outline the practices employed within individual pieces and sketch a broader trajectory spanning these works. Although beginning as poetic etudes in mimesis, my music becomes oriented towards a deeper introspective journey, in which each piece is understood as a pathway to self-discovery."

Available Online – Stanford University Library

Mimesis of Natural Sounds in Music (2018)

"From the cave paintings of Lascaux, which feature nearly 6,000 figures of animals, humans, and abstract signs, to the musical mimesis of Romanticism, as discussed in the works of Beethoven, Mahler, and Strauss, and through to the artwork of our modern epoch, such as in the scientific realism of Messiaen’s transcription of birdsong and the psychoacoustic mimetic-labyrinths of Sciarrino, mimesis of the natural world has remained as eternally present as nature itself."

On Text and Perspective in Salvatore Sciarrino's Morte di Borromini (2016)

"In the music of Salvatore Sciarrino, which often takes shape through anthropomorphic representation and mimetic realization of character(s), text and perspective undoubtedly play a crucial role in determining not only the characteristic and behavioral tendencies of anthropomorphized musical material, but also new and imaginative dramatic forms made possible by the composer’s apparent ability to empathize with his chosen subjects and follow their characteristic profiles to often fantastic ends. This relationship between text and perspective and musical effect is perhaps best exemplified in Sciarrino’s melodrama for orchestra and narrator, Morte di Borromini (1988)."

© 2020 by Nick Virzi