visual intuitive scores

fauna obscura An early visual/Intuitive score, from the early months of the pandemic. It has been performed by three different ensembles!
October 2021. At a show in my yard this autumn, Erik Fratzke liked the open ended-ness of the score: In the group we play in now ( Troux Bloux) he sets up the context and everyone else responds.
This is one of my first steps toward the visual, intuitive scores. I drew my own staff paper, and copied it onto several sheets of stiff cardstock. The wide clef grew out of my frustration with ledger lines on the piano, and attempting to show the extreme registers. It’s not a perfect system, but the players got the idea.
Bird Myths #4

In the Autumn of 2019, I began exploring new directions in notation. I found an interesting path, a semi-thematic vehicle in using text, to guide emotionally, but to also encourage players to use the rhythm of the words to guide their phrasing.

Bird Myths #9

I can’t remember the exact moment this started, but I began to think of symbols and meaning… and started incorporating images into the scores. The images and shapes became more expansive: both realistic and abstract juxtapositioning.

I wanted to develop an open-ended system, where musicians a context, a motif/idea/image/cell to start from. I give some choices, and encourage people to go from there.

the day after earth day

In February 2020 I had one rehearsal with cellist Aaron Kerr, violinist Laura Harada, and percussionist Eric Coursen, for a March 28th concert. It was amazing…. This group took my visual and textual scores, and found compelling interpretations. We were so excited for the spring to open up these ideas.

Needless to say, the March Concert never happened, nor have any of the many other ones planned. During the onset of COVID, I found myself deep into watercolor; thanks to Joseph Abbott Maurer,( artist/ naturalist/activist) I started to go into deep, healing places that I had never expected.

City Shore birds: debut November 2019 Baltimore( An Die Musik) and WA DC. ( Rhizome) remember…….. Eat Bertha’s Mussels !

During this time I have created a huge body of work: scores that also function as art. I did not discard conventional notation, but I am writing more of it by hand.

For me, music is a deeply connective activity; socially/emotionally with musicians and audience, a dialogue with the natural world around us. Like a dormant seed, I am waiting for the right, safe time to come out and play. Meanwhile, I am on a tear.

From my eco-opera in progress… of the same name.
hidden fox rhythms : each player takes an area, and interprets it.
Common time. I was rediscovering birds: watching them closely at the feeder, imitating their calls. this started with vague, indistinct shapes, which evolve into a distinct idea.

an unperformed work.
this work is waiting for a debut. interested?
The Speed of Sunset. Premiered by Paul Cantrell, piano, September 17, 2021 Play in any direction, use melodies to connect chords, or use arpeggiated connections of the chords. Stay as long as you want on each chord. End where you started.
Written during Ian Rashkin’s Baltimore Concert Tour, 2019. To be performed.