– Joanna MacGregor – piano
– Tom Arthurs – trumpet
– Oliver Coates – cello
– Elaine Mitchener – voice– Isambard Khroustaliov – electronics
Cathy Berberian – Stripsody
John Cage – Water Music
Cornelius Cardew – Treatise (excerpts)
George Crumb – Crucifixus (Capricorn), Spiral Galaxy (Aquarius)
Fred Frith – Bricks for Six & Zurich
Wadada Leo Smith – Luminous Axis
Tom Phillips – Golden Flower, Lesbia Waltz, Ornamentik
Jennifer Walshe – THIS IS WHY PEOPLE O.D. ON PILLS
How do you play a picture?
Composers and artists from John Cage to Brian Eno have experimented with notation to create extraordinary visual scores that rival the best contemporary art. This transatlantic programme spans classical, experimental and jazz, in works featuring graphic art, comic strip and abstract art. Innovative pianist Joanna MacGregor is at the heart of a super group of the UK’s most original musicians who perform music by George Crumb, Cathy Berberian, Fred Frith, John Cage, Wadada Leo Smith, Cornelius Cardew, Tom Phillips RA and Jennifer Walshe against the striking visual backdrop of their projected scores.
WHAT IS A GRAPHIC SCORE?
From the early twentieth century, certain groups of composers began questioning every convention and by the 1950s began liberating themselves from traditional notation through the use of visual symbols to create works of often stunning aesthetic quality. Blurring the boundaries between visual, written and musical languages, graphic scores saw collaboration between composers and visual artists, the influence of which is still felt today.
John Cage famously celebrated this prolific era for graphic scores with his book Notations (co-edited with Alison Knowles), which included works by the likes of Louis Andriessen alongside Yoko Ono and even a decorated lyric sheet by The Beatles. Whilst the initial blast of heat around graphic scores cooled in the 70s, their visual excitement remains highly seductive for many creating music today with artists from Aphex Twin to John Zorn using graphic notation in their work. In 2009 Theresa Sauer's Notations21 explored these new developments in musical notation, just as Cage did, in a compendium of innovative scores from over 50 countries.