Songs of Myself: An Exploration of Identity Through Composition
Author: Megan Howell
Major: Music Education
Graduation Year: 2021
Thesis Advisor: Philip Edelman
Description of Publication: Songs of Myself is an Extended Play (EP) of original music that I recorded entirely on my own, depicting my personal exploration of identity. Inspired by Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”, a poem that describes the importance of all beings and explores the idea of identity and self-worth, the EP is comprised of seven songs: “Sunrise”; “Dawn”; “Autumn”; “Overcast”; “Storm”; “Dusk”; and “Sunset”, each of which describes a different aspect of my life and identity. “Sunrise” begins the EP, establishing the main theme that returns throughout the rest of the tracks. “Dawn” depicts the important of my family and my home, Mount Desert Island, Maine. My love of and passion for music is shown through the third track, “Autumn”, tying in ideas from songs I played during my high school career. Things start to take a turn in “Overcast”, as the key turns to minor, and an internal struggle begins within me. Things come to a climax in “Storm” as the theme introduced in “Sunrise” is inverted, the chords are played out of sync, and everything falls into a cacophonic mess. “Dusk” is the aftermath of “Storm” – the melody is wandering, with few recognizable themes or motives, searching for a resolution but never quite finding one. “Sunset” is that resolution, bringing back the main Sunrise theme, now fully harmonized with several instruments, concluding the album showing that I have found myself once more.
Location of Publication:
URL to Thesis: https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/honors/708