A collaboration between image and sound: Graphic scores

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Print has always been used to disseminate information as well as to create artistic representations and reproductions. Increasingly it is used by artists as a medium that enables us to cross once well-established media boundaries rather than as a specialist medium in its own right. Equally, prints have always been the product of collaborative working relationships as well as the creations of a solitary artist.
This paper explains the methodologies used by myself and saxophonist and composer, Raymond MacDonald, to create a series of co-authored original prints that also function as musical compositions (graphic scores).

Graphic scores represent music using visual images outside the realm of traditional music notation. Their use in contemporary context was developed in the 1950s and they have continued to be an effective way for experimental musicians to convey musical ideas where standard musical notation is inappropriate. While many graphic scores are visually interesting, few claim to be works of art in their own right. I am working with Raymond MacDonald, a well-known Scottish jazz saxophonist and composer, to create a series of original prints and animations that function equally as visual art and musical score. This paper will discuss, in-depth, the nature of our collaborative process in the creation of a genuinely co-authored work.

Music is composed through the creation of the image, and the composition of the image, must be negotiated through the music. The original prints are then reproduced through the printing process so that each musician, and the audience, are able to view them as they are performed. We consider how the audience\s reading of the music is influenced by the visual image, and equally, how the musicians' response to the images influence their playing. The talk also explores new ways of collaborative working. The aim is for two practitioners from different disciplines to be fully immersed in the other's practice, so that not only do bot individuals learn new ways of working, but also new insights are gained into the processes and outcomes of collaborative cross-disciplinary artistic practices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImpact 9 International Printmaking Conference
PublisherChina Academy of Art Press, Hangzhou, China
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2015


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