photographic score from the first series of czech scores 2007/8
There has always been a strong emotive, creative link for me between the visual and the audible. My approach to photography has connected with those ‘other’ impulses and inspirations that perhaps are more commonly associated with forms of musical expression. The images themselves are concerned not with the precise capture of a physical space or object but rather they are my intuitive visual response to a location or experience, often taken in conjunction with my explorations with conventional and extended field recording methods.
For some time I had been contemplating the concept of using certain images as photographic scores. During this time I have assembled several images into one piece, experimented with applying certain conventional musical notation to the images & various other processes. In a sense, I moved further away from the point, from the musicality of the images. Perhaps it was necessary ?
It is my hope that the direct and simple approach that I feel is the most successful way for me to explore this form of visual composition offers the performer an enjoyable, interesting and rewarding experience.
As one spends time with the scores it becomes clear that there is a large amount of detail contained in the images & the possibilities of transposing this to a chosen instrument or process should be exciting and challenging.
The following notes are intended as an outline of an initial way to approach the basic aspects of the form, however they are by no means restrictive:
. the image as a whole should be considered prior to performance. Literal meaning is not essential and it is preferable that no overtly precise programmatic theme dominates the performance.
. each score containing ‘lines’ are to be read from left to right. These can be given tempo / durations as per any specific instructions supplied with the score or as decided upon by the performer (s).. in situations involving more than one performer the duration of the piece as a whole should be agreed upon. However each line of the score is open to individual interpretation in terms of timing. It is also not essential that all performers end at exactly the same time. Where one or more performers finish their score before others, the remaining players should continue with their original intended performance duration. The aspects of individual sense of time passing during performance are both essential and pleasant.
. in the scores with divided sections each line is an equal divide of the photographic image & therefore some element of durational equality should be applied – although this does not need to be exact unless specified.
. where blocks of constant colour or texture appear these can be interpreted as musical blocks of either sound or silence – however particular attention should be paid to minute changes in shading and texture. The performer (s) is free to interpret texture as they wish, bearing in mind the overall shape of the developing composition.
. lines and shapes contained within the image are open to free interpretation prior to the performance. Elements of consistency in this decided musical language should be maintained, however each performer is free to develop this language during the performance. Should the image contain any words, letters, numbers or other symbols these should be read as firm shapes.