A Sky of Honey: Kate Bush and the expression of musical androgyny
The overarching aim of my research is two-fold. In the first instance I want to suggest a possible reformulation of the concept of androgyny, and in the second instance I want to explore the possibilities of an androgynous musical subjectivity. Drawing upon the threads left by Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own and by suggesting that The Waves is an example of an androgynous creative practice, I establish the characteristics of a Woolfian androgyny. I focus my studies on Kate Bush’s song cycle A Sky of Honey, creating a dialogue between Woolf and Bush to explore an appropriate methodology for the musicological study of androgyny. I work with each piece to guide my interpretations and to explore the ways in which androgyny is communicated through musical and non-musical aspects. My research is situated amidst wider issues concerning musical performance in relation to subjectivity, consciousness, sexuality, gender fluidity, multiplicity, sound, listening and expression. I am also interested in how the 'doing of' research contributes towards the overall process of conceptual engagement and reformulation.
Broadly, I am interested in the role of music in expressions of self and how this relates to the formation of gender and subjectivity. I am interested in musico-literary intermediality, the expressive links between the creative practices of musical performance and literature, and the relationship between language and music, including the expression of nonhuman and animal selves. The connections between music, sound and listening are thematic in my research, particularly as an articulation of wider cultural and philosophical narratives and revolutions. I find the problem of meaning a preoccupation; how meaning is formed, reformed, manipulated and expressed through musical performance.
BA Hons Music, International Centre for Music Studies, Newcastle University
MLitt Music, International Centre for Music Studies, Newcastle University, beneficiary of The Dame Florence Hilda Yates Studentship
Debra Ferreday and Nicholas Gebhardt