In a State of Becoming : Jazz Rap Meditations
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Original versionSkjerdal, V. T. (2020) In a State of Becoming : Jazz Rap Meditations (Master's thesis). University of Agder, Kristiansand.
The artistic research project In a State of Becoming explores musical identity in an ever-changing state of flow –changing both within itself and others’ perception of it. It seeks to probe the matter of inherent flux by engaging another musical self in the present of the project, and the matter of extraneous flux by looking at surrounding components that build into the totality of the subjective perception. Over a nine-month period (September 2019 till May 2020),I positioned myself within the genre of jazz rap –a disputed subgenre of hip-hop –working from a somewhat constructed sense of musical identity that, in its very premise of existing, challenged the idea of an innate musical identity. From this constructed position, several challenges arose regarding morality, which through the methodological approach of grounded theory, crystallized into two contextual pillars: one of authenticity and one of cultural appropriation. After processing these themes through the helix of my evolving grounded theory, a third, balancing pillar arose within the musical practice and the exploration of metaphors as an illustration of the moral challenges –all illustrated by a tripartite metaphor of an orange garden symbolizing personal growth reflected by a universal aspect. The artistic outcome of the research is a jazz rap EP consisting of four tracks á 13 minutes, which embodies the processual reflections and the project’s culminating awareness and understanding. Though it feels like a natural conclusion to the research, I want to argue that the importance of this project lies not in the conclusion but rather in the exploration –the road is the goal and so on.
Master's thesis in Popular music (MUR502)