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Graphic Scores: a collaboration between Art and Music

June 11, 2015

Time Points on stand

In 2014 I began to collaborate with musician and composer, Raymond MacDonald, to make a series of graphic scores. Graphic scores represent music using visual images outside the realm of traditional music notation, and have been an effective way for experimental musicians to convey musical ideas since the 1950s. We want to create a series of original prints that function equally as visual art and musical score. They sit simultaneously on music stands, and framed on the wall. Both the image and the music are genuinely co-authored. Raymond having equal responsibility for the images as I do, and I have equal responsibility for the music.

As a way of introducing myself to the project, I asked Raymond for a CD of music I could try creating a score for.  He gave me the very wonderful CD, Parallel Moments. He plays saxophone and Marilyn Crispell plays piano. I used existing drawings of my own and created scores for three pieces: scanning the drawings and colouring them digitally to create archival inkjet prints.

Longing

                                                                                               Longing

                                                                                             

Town & City halls

                                                                                        Town & City Halls

       Conversation print_pp

                                                                                             Conversation

After completing these works, Raymond and I collaborated to produce scores together and then introduced them to small groups of musicians. In rehearsal with them, we negotiate a series of directions that suggest how the score should be interpreted. All the musicians are experienced improvisors and their reaction to the images is an important part of our process.

An exhibition at the Talbot Rice Art Gallery: 8 – 23 May 2015 provided the perfect venue for exhibition and performance of the works. A number of animations are my own interpretation of particular performances during rehearsal.

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