Student Spotlight: Piyawat Louilarpprasert
Exploration of Sight and Sound
Piyawat Louilarpprasert is a doctor of musical arts student from Bangkok, Thailand. After attending the College of Music at Mahidol University in Thailand and the Royal College of Music in London, England, he chose to pursue music composition at Cornell.
What is your area of research and why is it important?
My research area explores the amalgamation of sonic arts and visual studies, which includes exploration of musical instruments and human physicality. As a Thai music composer and researcher, it is very important for me to investigate the concept of sound/sight with elements of Thai music to create new music composition with musical creativity and cultural diversity.
What inspired you to choose this field of study?
“Sound” is very powerful and meaningful to me. Every sound has complexity and character. Music is just a sound. When I listen to music, I hear different motions and gestures of sonority more than details and spectrums of melody or harmony. It is more interesting to explore new sound and find definition of sonic possibilities with new music composition writing.
Where did you study with your Graduate School Research Travel Grant?
Bangkok and Chiangmai, Thailand.
How important was obtaining a Research Travel Grant for your research?
Thai music and culture are very unique. Traveling in Bangkok and Chiangmai gave me an opportunity to understand complexities of sonorities, acoustics, and epistemology of Thai musical/cultural originality. It is an important ultimate goal of my research to find the originality of Thai music and manifest it into my own musical language.
What did this grant allow you to do that you might not have otherwise been able to?
The Graduate School Research Grant supported me in finding rare archives of Thai traditional music in different important places such as at Chiangmai University (Northern of Thailand), College of Music, Mahidol University (Bangkok), and Bangkok Arts and Cultural Center. Moreover, it is great to be surrounded in the actual musical/traditional environment in Thailand where I could experience the local culture and authentic tradition.
What are your hobbies or interests outside of your research or scholarship?
I am interested in watching art film (production) and dance (choreography).
Why did you choose Cornell to pursue your degree?
The music composition department provides substantial opportunities for D.M.A. composers/researchers to create new works and curate performances with creativity and freedom.