CAITLIN ROWLEY
composer

Four Black and White Pieces

For any number of performers or imaginations

Four Black and White Pieces is a set of four graphic scores ‘for any number of performers or imaginations’. Created for the Closet Music ‘Travel Pack’ project, which was looking for postcard-sized pieces which could be used by travellers to imagine their own music, even if they didn’t read musical notation, Four Black and White Pieces is also appropriate for (audible) performance. The four pieces can be performed in any orientation, either sequentially (in any order) or simultaneously. If there is more than one performer, they can either all work from one Piece, from different Pieces, or from the same Piece in differing orientations.

As with my other graphic score works, the interpretation of the images is entirely up to the performer(s) – my interest in this form of notation is in enabling performance, and in seeing what performers bring to the work. I don’t specify certain elements to represent certain musical concepts because, in my control-freak way, I feel that if I want a melody that is ‘this’ shape, I should just write out the notes myself. I love hearing performers create sounds I wouldn’t ever have imagined with these pieces – every performance becomes a composition lesson.

Four Black & White Pieces

Four Black & White Pieces on display at the Closet Music exhibition.
Click to view full-size image

First performance: No. 3 first performed by Peter Wiegold and Notes Inegales at Club Inegales, London on 11 July 2013. Full set first exhibited in 'Closet Music: Imaginary Soundworlds' exhibition at The Proud Archivist, Haggerston, 14-28 September 2015.