Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tangents I and II

I created two graphic scores recently, entitled Tangents I and II. Each is a response to a work of visual art. The process was fairly simple. I laid a white sheet of paper over top of the artwork, and then drew tangent lines on certain curves. Only certain details made it through the white sheet of paper, and I was not able to even begin to respond to every curve, shape, and line in the artwork. But I feel I stripped these works down to a certain bare essence that was my own.

I then superimposed an X-Y coordinate system, and predictably, made X equal time and Y equal pitch. After that, I created a composition in Csound that performed the data using sine waves.

I found it a bit lacking!

After that, I thought about thickening up the synthesis aspect. I haven't tried it yet (and it doesn't help that my Csound is a bit rusty), but I am not even sure if that is the answer.

What I think could work, using the graphic score as a guideline for a composition for human musicians. Thinking about this, and music writing in general, has made me ask bigger questions that I've usually avoided.

My music compositions tend to be rigorously organized, and the results are usually fantastic. But I never take into account much beyond the actual notes. I'm so busy trying to make them fit the right way, and thinking that if they do fit, everything else will work. I still believe that. But I think that future compositions could speak even stronger to the human spirit if I was able to really think about *how* these notes are played. The how will breathe a whole new life into the music.

No comments: