UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Walking Towards the Sun Singley, Robert


“Walking Towards the Sun," for string quartet, is a collection of musical meditations on my experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. The scale, structure, and musical language of the composition are related to the Trail. Lasting almost eight hours, the piece is massive and idealistic. It is comprised of 80 movements that give unique interpretations to places and experiences from my hike. The movements are organized to trace my journey southward from Maine to Georgia. The musical material utilizes both abstract and symbolic expressions to reflect my experiences on the Trail. The sound of the composition transports the listener by suggesting emotional states reflective of my journey. This paper will introduce the composition and explain its connection to my hike. The first section of this paper gives the premise behind my thesis and suggests a precedence in other composers’ work. This is followed by an overview of the composition’s structure and its relationship to the trail. Section 3 delves into specific musical techniques and procedures utilized in the work and an explanation of the instrumentation choice. The paper concludes with an aesthetic statement, suggesting a context for the composition as a work of art. A complete version of the score, a table detailing the textural, harmonic, and other contributions to the works structure, and a program note for the composition’s performance are included in the appendix.

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