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Why can't I sleep?: A psychoanalysis of the manifestation of unattainable control through the art of composition.

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After nearly two decades of sleep problems, one question haunts me. Why can’t I sleep? Like many composers, sleep and its mysteries have become an obsession that for myself personally, has inspired an exploration between the conscious and unconscious in relation to the works of The Surrealists, Sigmund Freud and John Zorn. Using autobiographical experiences of insomnia; close analysis of scholarly texts and musical scores I will explore the various ways in which musical expression is informed by the concept of sleep. Through this exploration I will establish how the lack of control I experience due to my inability to sleep can aid my own compositional process. I will investigate how these specific artists use psychodynamic theories to take control away from their audiences and identify what drives their desire to musically capture, embody and control what is at its core, the uncontrollable.

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