Drawn on Sound

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Drawn on Sound talk by Stevie Wishart and Designer Kevin Mount, Bath Spa University, 30th May, 2018

Motivated by a desire to make the musical score more versatile and more useful to a wider range of performers and performance traditions, composer Stevie Wishart, is questioning the ‘accepted’ limits of Western notation.

Must we make do with a writing system whose limits are narrowly defined by notation software developers?

Why can’t we inscribe sound as adventurously as a choreologist can record an improvised dance or a film maker ‘storyboard’ a film?
In spite of all of the musical and linguistic experiment of the last century, must the root of all published and performed music continue to be a transcription in staff notation. Might not a closely described improvisation method sometimes be a more articulate source? Might not the two be combined?

When colour is so abundant in visual culture and when the dynamics and density of colour are such rich sources of signs and signals, why should musical notation continue to be so doggedly monotone?

How can we disentangle or re-integrate the scored, improvised and accidental aspects of musicianship to extend the boundaries of composition and enable performers to engage more freely with new work?

Stevie Wishart's renewed investigation focuses on a series of experimental case studies and involves a collaboration with Kevin Mount, a print designer and typographer. Their examples draw on choreology, information design and visual communication practice, but are connected to techniques derived from pre-Romantic music and oral traditions such as embellishment, improvisation and heterophony.


Newton Saint Loe, BA2 9BN Bath, UK
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