Post-experimental survivor: Finnissy the experimentalist

Philip Thomas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter isolates some of the features of Michael Finnissy’s compositions and musical activity which reflect his relationship to a conventionally conceived experimental tradition. It focuses upon two aspects of Finnissy’s work which typify his particular brand of experimentalism and indeterminacy: independence of parts and what have been termed the ‘kit’ pieces. References to the experimentalists within Finnissy’s music are less common than might be suggested by the emphasis he places upon them in conversation. In Transformations of the Vampire, it is as if the young Finnissy is trying out different means of making sounds, or how ensembles work together, how they breathe. Feldman’s return to independently functioning parts is in some ways mirrored by a similar shift in Finnissy’s music at the same time. The resulting types of music might be relatively similar but the different notations suggest distinct modes of articulation and movement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Perspectives on Michael Finnissy
Subtitle of host publicationBright Futures, Dark Pasts
EditorsIan Pace, Nigel McBride
Place of PublicationAbingdon & New York
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781351031547
ISBN (Print)9781138491977 , 1138491977, 9780367729127
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2019

Publication series

NameAshgate Studies in Theory and Analysis of Music after 1900


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  • Beat Generation Ballads

    Thomas, P. & Finnissy, M., 2016

    Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

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