Mark Dyer

Mark Dyer is a Research student working on projects for the Experimental/Exploratory Music Research Centre (EEMRC) at the RNCM.

A composer of experimental concert and installation music, Mark’s output also includes field recordings, written work and photography.

Mark has worked with performers such as Psappha, Benedict Holland, Kathryn Williams, OUT-TAKE Ensemble and Collective31. In addition I have installed live installation pieces in the Manchester Art Gallery and HOMEmcr, the latter in collaboration with visual artist Susan Pui San Lok with a commission from the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art. Furthermore, he has published an article in the contemporary music journal TEMPO and a reflection piece on the Elsewhere Journal Blog.

In April 2018, Mark was selected to attend the UKYA Cornish Weekender mini-residency.

Mark studied at the University of Southampton with Dr Matthew Shlomowitz and Dr Ben Oliver, where he received the Hazel Muras-Osborn Prize for Composition. His studies at the University of Manchester were supported by the Harry Clough Scholarship, where he was supervised by Professor Philip Grange.

Mark is currently a PhD candidate in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, supervised by Dr Mauricio Pauly. These studies are generously supported by an AHRC North West Consortium DTP studentship.

Research

Ruin depiction and aesthetics are commonly explored within archaeology, literary theory and the visual arts.

Through his research, Mark will compose ‘musical ruins’ that might establish a listener experience analogous to visiting an architectural ruin. Mark aims to achieve this by subjecting borrowed material to destructive compositional techniques, and thus explore the emotional responses inherent to ruin lust: nostalgia, alienation and hopes of restoration. Additionally, the project will explore the various compositional techniques we might employ to disassemble a given piece of music, and the threshold at which point a degenerated piece of music becomes unrecognisable.

The project reflects a personal vision where music might contribute to ruin studies in other fields and add new perspectives on ruin fascination.

Compositions

What I find in Raking (2017) for string quartet. Performed at the RNCM Chamber Music Festival March 2018.

Memento for Kathryn (2018) for flute and tape. A single-breath piece commissioned by Kathryn Williams as part of her Coming Up for Air project. Performed by Kathryn Williams as part of the Decontamination series, RNCM, February 2018.

To go along, however, is to thread one’s way (2018) for 4 voices Open Score. Written for CoMA Manchester. Performed at the RNCM as part of the CoMA Festival, March 2018. Subsequently workshopped and recorded by a Deleuzian performance group headed by Stephen Preston.

Adam lay ybounden (2018). Tape piece written following a guided walk with Clusters & Entanglements, a phenomenological reading group. To be installed in the Clouded Title exhibition at Street Road Artists Space, Pennsylvania, date tbc.

Publications

‘Interpreting Telemann: Restoration and Reconstruction’ a record review of period- to contemporary- interpretations of Historical Music. Early Music, Oxford University Press. Publication expected in May 2018.

‘Hearing the Ruin: Ownership through Sound’ a short reflection piece written in conjunction with the Clusters & Entanglements, a phenomenological reading group.

Conference Papers

House Remains Beautiful. A 20-minute paper presenting one of my compositions at the RMA study day ‘Music and Space’, Oct 2017.

Preliminary Explorations into Musical Ruins. A 30-minute lecture-recital summarising the year’s activities presented at RNCM Student Conference, May 2018.

Reductive Transcription: the more I take away, the more I add. A 20-minute paper presenting my composition To go along… at the TAROT: Rethinking Musical Transcription and Arrangement Conference, May 2018.

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