Compositions Inspired By David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest
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This thesis is a collection of seven jazz compositions that are based on, or otherwise inspired by, David Foster Wallace's novel Infinite Jest. The compositions attempt to engage the novel in a way that makes use of the text, themes, characters and events to inform the melodies, harmonic progressions, instrumentation and structural elements of the music. While not intended to be a definitive musical interpretation of Infinite Jest, these pieces offer insight into one reader's experience with the novel. In addition to the analyses of each composition, a cursory overview is provided of both Wallace's work and the plots, characters and themes in Infinite Jest. This is followed by an examination of the various compositional techniques used in these compositions, including the use of text-based melodies, alphabetic pitch series, leitmotifs and programmatic instrumentation. Appendices provide additional information regarding notational and stylistic considerations in the music.