Experimental Concepts in Composition: Nativism and Neuroconstuctivism"
"Dreams and Anxieties in the Dune-Like Fragments of Her Body" commissioned work in progress for Soprano Saxophone and Bassoon. Text by Bil Smith Composer.
"I am inspired by various theorems and this post from Philosotroll certainly resonated with by thinking.
I am sharing this here with my input.
Nativism is a theory advanced by a number of leading evolutionary psychologists, especially Steven Pinker.
Nativism is the view that there are certain intuitive psychological distinctions that develop in individuals or populations, things like aesthetic preferences, and that there are widely held characteristics that are a part of all human beings by virtue of genetics, like language, sound and forethought.
Purely through the genetically determined features of development, psychological features will emerge."
Neuroconstructivism, by contrast, is a view articulated best by Annette-Karmiloff Smith. The view asserts, basically, that there are a number of psychological features which are actively influenced by the environment. We have to have an environment behave in a certain way, Karmiloff-Smith argues, in order to realize what we consider a "neuro-typical" brain and mind. This doesn't reject the significance of genetic considerations, but rather includes a caveat: that we are really bound up in a discussion of complex factors in the development of our psychology.
My thought is how can we take these principles/theorems and apply them to compositional pursuits
How do we shape the behavioral environment of a performer; in this case a bassoonist and a soprano saxophonist to avoid a predetermined outcome?
The inherent procedure of this concept has some affinities with phenomenology, a theory to which allusions sometimes are made. Herein, any metaphysical dualism is eschewed, searching neither for sensation, nor for the object in itself, but for the phenomenon as it presents itself: Not from the point of a particular listener, but how it potentially would present itself for anyone.
This investigation, however, departs from a stricter phenomenology in dealing with the concept of music.