Study no. 1 for amplified acoustic guitar
[ Note: It has been a very busy couple of months, between finishing grad school apps, applying for residencies, festivals, and the like, and I have been beyond remiss in updating the old blog. Apologies to my huge swaths of regular readers. I hope to resume a regular posting schedule going forward. ]
The following image is a page from my newest piece, Study no. 1, for amplified acoustic guitar.
This is my first real foray into the world of graphic scores. I have long been making unconventional scores, but they’ve always been essentially staff-based. The Study uses a kind of staff, but the horizontal lines are not staff lines, but rather the strings of the guitar. On the left are the tuning pegs, on the right the sound hole and bridge. Time is not represented in the score – events are instead defined by space.
I didn’t jump right into this notation. I tried more traditional ways of expressing the sounds I was making and the ways I was making them, using the horizontal dimension to represent time, and filling it with symbols to represent the different sounds, but I found that ultimately not to be really expressive of the piece. When I hit upon this, it seemed actually to represent the sound much better, and sacrificing control over the order of events seemed a very small price to pay (that would be the micro-order – the above is page 5 of 6, and the pages do have to be played in order).
Also, it’s fun to play with colored pencils.