|dc.description.abstract||This thesis is presented as an autoethnography that documents the process of composing a
portfolio of works that are identifiable as Jazz. Autoethnography is understood here as both a
theory and a method. While my personal perspective is central, the social milieu in which I
am positioned is also important as I understand composition as a process that is dependent
on, and motivated by, context. In this way, composition is seen as closely tied to identity.
The pieces fall into three ensemble categories: those composed with particular musicians in
mind, those composed for specific instrumental combination; and those composed for a big
band format. In the first category, my focus as a composer is to write music with a particular
set of musicians in mind. In the second category, I compose and arrange for instrumentation.
In the third category, my focus is writing for a big band, in which I create a simulation; I use
recording software to programme the instruments.
The intention is to interrogate and analyse how and why I made the compositional decisions,
and to expose my perceptions of how the process of composition unfolded. Underlying my
compositional strategies is the idea that as a fundamentally improvisational idiom, jazz can
accommodate musical characteristics and techniques associated with other established
genres like Rock, Goema, Gqom, Latin, and Afro-Cuban music.
The motivation for my approach to composition is to bring the jazz idiom closer to the
diverse musical environment which I experience in Durban.||en_US