Date of Award

Spring 4-8-2016

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Robert Pound




For violin, cello, soprano, baritone, flute and percussion, clarinet and percussion, woodblock and marimba, electronics.

Mouthpiece is a music and dance collaboration that explores the ways in which individual thought shapes shared reality. The music consists of two acoustic movements, one electronic movement, an electronic prelude and postlude, in addition to conversation fragments that weave the piece together conceptually.

The music for mouthpiece is constructed entirely from conversational fragments that highlight key themes such as identity, questioning, disagreement, and understanding. In the two acoustic movements, the motives are speech patterns transcribed and developed for instruments. The electronic movements are the result of direct manipulation of the collaborators’ recorded voices. Throughout the piece, the differences in perspective are shown by highlighting the distinct qualities in each collaborator’s voice and ideas while they speak on identical concepts.

Movements and durations (in minutes and seconds)

I. Observation and Response (prelude)* 0:43

II. Conversation I* 0:26

III. Peace 6:00

IV. Conversation II* 0:30

V. Identity 5:30

VI. Questioning* 4:08

VII. Observation and Response (postlude)* 1:43

*These electronic movements are available as mp3 files by request, or at The prelude and postlude are drawn from the same conversation fragment about the concepts of observing and responding. “Questioning” is made entirely from two sound fragments, which highlight moments of confusion and contemplation. Conversations I and II contain the material for “Peace” and “Identity,” respectively.

Included in

Composition Commons