ResearchWorks: Composing a theory of adaptation

  • 5pm
5 diagrams of bones


About this event:

Platform / Discussion | Research | ResearchWorks
Event type:
Free | Online

Event information

The author is not dead in adaptation studies. For a practice-researcher, this is a relief. Adaptation theory – a field initially dedicated to novel-film adaptations, but now with a much broader purview – creates a space in which the intentions of the artist and the interpretations of the audience are treated as equally valid sides of the same coin.

In essence, an adapter creates a new artwork through a creative and interpretative engagement with another work (/other works), and signals to an audience the existence of a relationship between hypotext (source) and hypertext (new work). This premise provides a framework for examining a wide range of questions regarding the creative process, including:

How can one engage with a source when adapting between incompatible art forms and media?

How does the ‘palimpsestic doubleness’ (Hutcheon, 2012) that an adaptation suggests affect an audience’s engagement with a work of art?

Can an artist create without some form of adaptation?

Addressing these questions and more, this talk explores tentative affinities between the realms of adaptation theory and composition, and the utility of this relationship in articulating practice research.


Patrick John Jones is a composer and researcher working on a practice-based Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at Guildhall School of Music & Drama. His project - ‘Sounding the archive: composition as translation and adaptation’ - aims to build a bridge between artistic practice-based research and intermedial theory through the composition of original music that interacts with sources from archives, galleries, and museums. It will also explore the public engagement potential of elucidating such interactions in order to facilitate broader understanding of, and interaction with, contemporary classical music.

Patrick’s music has been described as ‘strange, eerie…expressive’ (Britten Sinfonia Blog), ‘assured…compelling’ (Bachtrack), ‘acerbic’ (The Guardian) and ‘remarkably fresh’ (The Philharmonia Blog). It has been performed by artists and ensembles such us the London Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Ensemble 10/10, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Quatuor Diotima, Mahan Esfahani, The Kreutzer Quartet, Octandre, Psappha, the Tritium Trio, the Berkeley Ensemble, and the Ulysses Ensemble. Patrick was a joint winner of the Calefax Composers Competition in 2020, received the RPS Composition Prize in 2015, and the Britten Sinfonia’s OPUS award in 2014.

His piece for mixed quartet The Fun Will Never End - an ‘intricate, nervy dance that slips constantly between the playful and sinister with deadpan wit’ (BBC Music Magazine) - was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and released on NMC in 2021 on the Six Degrees of Separation compilation. Some of his scores have been published by the University of York Music Press, including Prayer (1) for soprano, alto and male voice (2020) and Uhtceare for flute, percussion, violin and cello (2016). Uhtceare was also recorded and released as part of the Dark Inventions album ‘Firewheel’ in 2016.

Patrick was an artist-in-residence at the The John Rylands Research Institute from November 2019-February 2020. He undertook a PhD in Composition from 2013-2017 at the University of York, supervised by Dr Thomas Simaku and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Prior to this, he completed an MMus in composition at Kings College London (2012) and a BA (Hons) in Music at the University of York (2010). He has taken part in a number of courses and summer schools for emerging composers, including the advanced composition course at Dartington Summer School (2019), taught by Harrison Birtwistle, the Britten-Pears Composition Course (2017), taught by Colin Matthews, Michael Gandolfi, and Oliver Knussen, and the Philharmonia Academy (2015-16), mentored by Unsuk Chin.

What is ResearchWorks?

Guildhall School’s ResearchWorks is a programme of events centred around the School’s research activity, bringing together staff, students and guests of international standing. We run regular events throughout the term intended to share the innovative research findings of the School and its guests with students, staff and the public.