The Presence of a Mysterious Black Silhouette: From a Print to a New Form of Usage of Guitar Multiphonics

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The author recounts how she came to carry out artistic research on guitar multiphonics when composing a piece for solo guitar. Furthermore, she explains how the investigation gave rise to a new form of usage of that unconventional technique.

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The technique of guitar multiphonics is an unconventional performing technique that gives rise to sounds of unusual colours, in which it is easier to perceive multiple pitches. In most compositions that employ the technique, this is done conventionally – there is hardly any variation in the beginning and/or end of the sounds. The piece presented in this article uses multiphonics in a new way. This was arrived at by the author unintentionally when conducting artistic research during the compositional process of the third piece in which she used guitar multiphonics. With the new form of usage of this technique there is variation in both the beginning and end of the sounds, as these gradually arise from, and vanish into the continuous sound of an open string. In the piece, this is used as a pedal tone that sounds insistently most of the time.
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Prader-Willi is a genetic disorder characterized by neonatal hypotonia, hyperphagia, short stature, hypogonadism, and mental delay. This disorder can result from multiple mechanisms, most commonly a deletion of paternal chromosome 15, leaving a single maternally derived chromosome 15. Individuals who have a maternal uniparental disomy of chromosome 15 have a higher risk for developing psychosis compared to other forms of Prader-Willi. The following report details the treatment course of a 24-year-old female with Prader-Willi and recurrent catatonia. The patient initially had a positive lorazepam challenge test but subsequently failed treatment with benzodiazepines. She then received eight electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments after which she showed improvement from initial catatonic state. However, the resolution in her symptoms did not follow a linear course but would show periods of improvement followed by a return of catatonic features. This case provides an example of the complexity of treatment of a patient with a genetic disorder and recurrent catatonia.
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