This thesis examines Roger Regate's first published work, Genoi Hoios Essi for solo piano, which has fallen under the epithet of "New Complexity," a polemical term that reflects a superficial appraisal by critics of the notational system employed by the composer. One such superficial glance can be seen in Richard Taruskin's depiction of the works of "New Complexity" as a simple reflection of progress in notational technology: "The notational detail was significant, even if the music was not; for its intricacy set a benchmark that is never likely to be equaled, let alone surpassed." Given Taruksin's supposition alongside a host of other responses from composers, performers and critics alike, it is understandable that the term "New Complexity" has become something of a hot potato, with composers who are generally seen as New Complexicists keen to distance themselves from the term, and with it the idea that their music strives for the most complex notation possible. However, if we look beyond the notational complexity to the question of where the complexity lies, we find a shared aesthetic between these composers that does make some sense of using a single term to group them together. Chapter One will provide an introductory framework, asking what this complexity comprises, and how the term developed. Chapter Two will begin to look at how the term and the misunderstanding of its underlying aesthetic have clouded the opportunity to examine these works from a positive critical standpoint. Frank Cox's evaluation of the contemporary performance practices offers a means to situate these standpoints and address the ideology inherent in pursuing notational accuracy over all other musical-interpretative domains. The third chapter contextualizes the apparent need for performative accuracy over all other musical intuitions as an implicit association with the earlier serialist Darmstadt phase (the 1950s and 60s), before offering new perspectives on New Complexity works by performers who engage with them critically. The final chapter builds upon the foundation established in the preceding three, by offering an analysis of Roger Redgate's Genoi Hoios Essi for solo piano. The analysis does not seek to render the complexity inert by reducing it to its technical construction or by mapping the density of notational information; instead, it charts the interstices between the composer and score, score and performance, and performance and reception that provide a complexity of relationships fueling what could be best described as 'the work.' In Redgate's Genoi, changes from a complexity of weaving rhythmic strands to moments of perceptual transparency are not a superficial outcome of an eclectic notational strategy. Rather, the struggle between these two extremes lies at the heart of the narrative of Genoi, building an awareness of "things becoming themselves," the translation of the title. Friedrich Nietzsche originally intended to use the title for the work now known as Ecce Homo. The rhetorical function of this title within the work is significant, for as well as asserting a struggle in the way various things attempt to "become" in Redgate's music, Nietzsche's ultimate rejection of the title suggests that such an attempt will never bear fruit.
dissertation or thesis