Music Notations

(2012 - 2105)

Interference: a notation for silent singing

These drawings are notations for silent singing.

Any music notation is a space of time, a reckoning of past, present, and future, with the performance as its sum. The score is a tally-sheet, with the performance as its sum. It is a calculus of the body.

By rendering breathlessness in fields of pitched consonants, is it possible these drawings give us a positive notation for silence -- for incipient noise as music?

In the end, in their performance as music, they may not actually be scores for a vocalist, but for a dancer, or an actor, as the body in space are the terms of those performance arts, even possibly the closed, private spaces of the mouth and throat.

Anechoic Chamber Orchestra

This notation system uses the human body as a scoring mechanism. Recording the rhythms of the essential systems of the body (cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, reproductive), users can “perform” those physical functions as music: the body generating a composition of the self.

In the acoustically dead space of Harvard’s Anechoic Chamber (1951), John Cage wrote: “in that silent room I heard two sounds, one high and one low. Afterward, the engineer explained: ‘The high one was your nervous system in operation. The low one was your blood in circulation.'

Cage heard the sounds of his living body -- neither silence nor music, properly speaking, yet both. This notation isolates those organic systems, blooming them as musical structures.

Music notations are documents describing a future of performance. Here, every pulse and breath is a minute of music -- a purely stochastic composition system, the human physique, re-written the transformation of bodily passages into musical ones.

A music notation is a kind of tally-sheet; they are documents of events and processes, describing a future of performance. They are true “space-time” drawings, with the value-added capability of play-back.

These are notations based on Isometric drawing -- a graphic method for organizing  objects in space.

See Soundcloud playlist of music derived from these drawings, at "Isometric Projections."

©2019 David Griffin