On this page you will find some of my writing, covering topics from openness and sharing, to the technical implementation of mapping approaches.

makingthingsup_smallComposition, Performance, Improvisation, and Making Things, sitting in a tree : Me-Me-Me-Me-Me-Me-Me

my PhD thesis in music composition from the University of Huddersfield (2016)

“The thesis’s original contribution to knowledge is its articulation of an iterative integrated practice where each aspect of my practice informs the other, with a focus on myself as a composer, performer, improviser, and instrument maker. The navigation of these intertwined roles, including the meta-creative practice of tuning a conceptual focus as part of the creative practice itself, is the central and novel methodological concern that comprises the thesis and my creative practice in general.”


makingthingsup_smallJust Making Things Up

on [shitty] improv tropes and how I’ve tried to overcome them (2016)

“Improvising is a big part of what I do, as a performer (whatever that means), composer (whatever that means), and just about everything else. And as such, I’ve thought a lot about improvisation, specifically things that I don’t like about it, in my performance as well as in others’. Many of these [shitty improv] tropes have inspired me to find ways to overcome them. Sometimes just being aware of the trope is enough to avoid it, but other times it’s taken a more deliberate reprogramming. What follows are a bunch of the tropes/ideas/problems and, where applicable, what I’ve done in order to overcome them.”


cutglove_smallCut Glove

on the background, development, and implementation of the software (2015)

“My hands were executing all these complex, nested moves, and I wasn’t thinking about it at all. It got me thinking about virtuosity. On one level the physical dexterity (virtuosity) required to fluidly do all of those physical movements, and more excitingly, the mental abstraction (virtuosity) for thinking in that nested/complex manner. I realized then that I wanted to use this latent virtuosity I had developed over the years – for musical purposes. To recycle virtuosity.”


thisiswhysmallThis is why

on sharing, openness, and an anti-capitalist view of making art (2015)

“I started shifting my ‘compositional’ thinking away from composing specific gestures and “telling people what to do” to creating contexts, situations, and behaviors that allowed performers (often myself) to work inside of. This was part of a general alignment with what I thought about the world, and how I made art in it. I not only wanted to change how my art interfaced with the world, but how I made that art in the first place.”



Titles (synchronicity, time travel, magic, etc…)

on the meaning of some of my composition titles (2015)

“A Possibility:

Title as prophecy. The art and muck that you are involved with bends around you, is bigger than you, is smarter than you. It points in a direction that you could not conceive. That you could not imagine. It becomes the truth, out from under you. It is an arrow. It is a line.”



Making Decisions in Time

on my analytical framework for improvisation (2015)

“I decided that I would need a framework to think about, practice, and analyze this type of working process. I rewatched the videos over and over and started writing down what I thought from moment to moment. After analyzing each performance I began to break the decisions into discreet streams, which I felt encompassed all of my improvisational thinking. These are MaterialFormalInterface, and Interaction.”



Towards the Beat of a Different Drummer

on my older lo-fi hardware-based drum setup (2011)

“In this paper, the author describes his explorations and experiments in turning an acoustic drum-set into an expressive tool for electroacoustic improvisation. This is primarily achieved through the addition of DIY and lo-fi electronics, as well as DIY acoustic and electroacoustic instruments to the drum-set. The author details how he began building and modifying instruments and goes into detail on the conception and execution of some of his most recent creations, where alternative interfaces for electronics are explored. Additionally he provides insight into his own methods for the practical integration of a large range of sound objects and instruments into his improvisation. The author concludes with his plans for future instruments and explorations predominately dealing with Arduinos and Apple iOS devices.”


Rodrigo Constanzo
-makes music and art
-lives in Porto/Manchester
-is a crazy person

Learn from me (for free!)

I am offering free lessons / conversations / consultations / mentoring / time / support to creative people, locally or remotely.
Want in on this?!

Read my PhD Thesis!

Composition, Performance,
and Making Things,
sitting in a tree :