Panel: Chasing Ghosts: Reactive Notation and Extreme Sight Reading
Since the 1950’s composers like John Cage, Cornelius Cardew, Morton Feldman and many since, have been putting ideas of notational reform into practice. These ideas challenge not only the deterministic nature of traditional notation but reflect an alternative philosophy behind the creation of music. The use of graphic notation requires a change in the composer performer relationship and questions the traditional concept of musicality, creating opportunities for more accessible music making for amateur musicians. This essay discusses the authors’ use of animated graphic notation to encourage collaborative music making for a wide range of performers with different musical backgrounds and levels of experience. This includes an examination of research carried out by the author through an interactive installation that gives an insight into immediate vocal interpretations of moving shapes and symbols by a range of professional and amateur musicians. Understanding the common human associations between visual parameters and musical sounds is an important factor in creating animated graphic notation that is both accessible and engaging. This use of moving shapes, colors, visual rhythms and textures to encourage individuals and groups in creative musical collaborations will be discussed with reference to large ensemble performances and installation works by the author.
- Shane Mc Kenna is a music teacher musician based in Dublin. He has completed both a Bachelor of Music Education, specialising in performance and a Masters in Music and Media Technology in Trinity College, Dublin. His work seeks to encourage collaborative music making for professional and amateur musicians through graphic notation.
Full text (PDF) p. 1685-1690