Translations – Part One

‘Translations’ is an ongoing series of pieces based on the interaction between composer and performer. It is essential for me as a composer to have a strong working relationship with the performers I engage with.  Working in this way means that I have managed to gather a group of musicians that I know enjoy performing my work.  I think this is important a contemporary composer because it creates a safe space to share my work with other musically creative people. 

The process of this project started with creating the four graphic scores that as a collection would make up part one of this project. For this I started to experiment more using a pallet of vibrant colours.  This is something I had not worked with before but I feel that creating these scores has allowed me to come out of my comfort zone when creating successful graphic scores. 

Each of the four pages of the score were intended to reflect a different mood or emotion for the performer to interpret.  I think I managed to successfully create the separation in moods by having such varied painting techniques throughout each of the pages. 

One of the focus points of my portfolio this year was to experiment working in different mediums as well as starting to develop my own style working as an interdisciplinary artist.  Working on this project has really helped me to appreciate that different styles of graphics will create different impressions on the performer. 

These are some examples of the preliminary work I produced to explore different styles and painting techniques. 

I found that this project allowed me to experiment working in an impasto style, which is something that I had not spent much time on before. I found that this style works well to create a complex and interesting score that can hold the same level of detail as standard notation.  I also think that creating these more abstract scores can aid the performer a lot more by evoking clear and strong emotions which I think is very clear in this project.  Impasto style painting seems to work as a better way to guide performers into creating a clear translation from the score into the audio outcome than some of my previous styles of graphic scores. 

The ongoing element of this project means that it will become a cycle of creating music and art.  I intent to carry this project on for a long duration to how the scores develop as result of working with the painting.  For part two of this project, I will be painting four more scores which will be responses on the four recordings that were produced from the part one scores. I think it will be really interesting to see the development of the score and the response and how they are intertwined with each other. 

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