visual scores…

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.

Waning crescent solstice moon

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 Joeseph Abbott Maurer, public/nature/activist artist. I started to go into deep, healing places that I had never expected.

City Shore birds

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.

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.
another work of this summer.
Laura Harada

Eric Coursen

Aaron Kerr