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....until now photographic scores 2007 - 2011 score #  1    

photographic scores: There has always been a strong emotive, creative link for me between the visual and the audible. My approach to photography has connected with those ‘other’ impulses and inspirations that perhaps are more commonly associated with forms of musical expression. The images themselves are concerned not with the precise capture of a physical space or object but rather they are my intuitive visual response to a location or experience, often taken in conjunction with my explorations with conventional and extended field recording methods. For some time I had been contemplating the concept of using certain images as photographic scores. During this time I have assembled several images into one piece, experimented with applying certain conventional musical notation to the images & various other processes. In a sense, I moved further away from the point, from the musicality of the images. Perhaps it was necessary ? It is my hope that the direct and simple approach that I feel is the most successful way for me to explore this form of visual composition offers the performer an enjoyable, interesting and rewarding experience.

As one spends time with the scores it becomes clear that there is a large amount of detail contained in the images & the possibilities of transposing this to a chosen instrument or process should be exciting and challenging.

. in the scores with divided sections each line is an equal divide of the photographic image & therefore some element of durational equality should be applied – although this does not need to be exact unless specified.

The following notes are intended as an outline of an initial way to approach the basic aspects of the form, however they are by no means restrictive:

. where blocks of constant colour or texture appear these can be interpreted as musical blocks of either sound or silence – however particular attention should be paid to minute changes in shading and texture. The performer (s) is free to interpret texture as they wish, bearing in mind the overall shape of the developing composition.

. the image as a whole should be considered prior to performance. Literal meaning is not essential and it is preferable that no overtly precise programmatic theme dominates the performance. . each score containing ‘lines’ are to be read from left to right. These can be given tempo / durations as per any specific instructions supplied with the score or as decided upon by the performer (s).. in situations involving more than one performer the duration of the piece as a whole should be agreed upon. However each line of the score is open to individual interpretation in terms of timing. It is also not essential that all performers end at exactly the same time. Where one or more performers finish their score before others, the remaining players should continue with their original intended performance duration. The aspects of individual sense of time passing during performance are both essential and pleasant.

. lines and shapes contained within the image are open to free interpretation prior to the performance. Elements of consistency in this decided musical language should be maintained, however each performer is free to develop this language during the performance. Should the image contain any words, letters, numbers or other symbols these should be read as firm shapes. !




- continued:

Over the course of the last few years several of these scores have been performed in various countries & situations by the likes of Daniel Jones, Julia Eckhardt, Patrick Farmer, Sarah Hughes, Michael Pisaro, Greg Stuart, Philip Thomas, Barry Chabala, Anastasia Chrysanthakopoulou, Maile Colbert, Martin Archer, Steven Chase, Herve Perez, David Papapostolou & others. My thanks to them for their creativity and support for this area of my work. A limited edition disc of several interpretations of the ‘isolde scores’ is available on engraved glass. A limited edition cd featuring interpretations of one bruxelles score, score for ivan and anna & (....) score by Barry Chabala & myself is available on engraved glass. all scores are p&c Jez riley French published by JrF / engraved glass no part of this publication is to be reproduced in any way without prior consent of Jez riley French. JrF / 2011

the czech scores (2007/8)

a single sheet of paper, such possible outcomes . the performance should involve an in-depth exploration of no more than 4 elements & should be performed in a space where the sounds of the surrounding area are audible & regarded as part of the score.

viewing inside this space, I should look more closely . the performance should involve an in-depth exploration of no more than 4 elements & should be performed in a space where the sounds of the surrounding area are audible & regarded as part of the score.

the estonian scores (2009) . the estonian scores, created as a set, can be interpreted by any number of performers & are supplied with specific guidance notes for each situation. . general guidance notes for the series are: . a sense of space, expansion and exploration of detail is to be maintained throughout the performance, the duration of which should be decided before hand and always exceed 20 minutes and be no longer than 2 hours. . The ‘sections’ applied to the photograph should be viewed in the same way as conventional scoring methods.

the bruxelles scores (2009)

. any combination of string players, including a soloist, should approach this score intuitively, allowing the images to form the visual cue for their explorations of space, silence and both the limits of and freedom from the technical restrictions of their instrument. . duration / tempo: to be decided by each performer independently of each other and during the course of the performance on an instinctive basis. nb. a version of this score was adapted especially for Julia Eckhardt (viola) to perform at q-o2 in 2009 as ‘placement of four quietudes’

. between 1 & 4 performers should concentrate on expressing musically the surfaces. . block one: smooth to the touch, constant with gentle changes in timbre where light falls . block two: shaped, angular but with the same sense of continuation as block one . block three: pinpoints of light, skyward expression . block four: previous elements should be used, with an increasing sense of expansion and final calm . duration / tempo: is open, the performers to decide together.

three scores (2007-2009)

. an intuitive response to the words below & the image; the divided sections, tone, timbre & duration should be employed throughout: short one to another this is somewhere close to the music then

. a solo performer using any instrument, object or set of processes should respond intuitively to the image & the divisions of the image. . aspects such as changes in colour tone, point of light and the softness of the overall image should inform the interpretation.

. the performer should simply respond to the beauty image, choosing a series of gestures to highlight aspects of light and shade, lines and expanded spaces. . this score should be interpreted in a space where the sounds of the surrounding area are audible. . matters of duration are left to the performer.

surfaces (2007/8)

‘surfaces’ is a series of photographic scores that can be used as a whole and in any combination, for any number of players. . ‘surface’ in it’s literal definition represents something we can touch, can come into contact with. However for me, the moment just before we physically touch the surface is often the first physical sense of the surface we have. This is most easily understood by remembering the moment just before ones fingers touch the skin of a loved one. It is this ‘surface’ that is to be represented equally in any interpretation of the score alongside the performers attempts to convey the different qualities and features of surfaces photographed. . matters of duration are left to the performer. . the sounds in the performance space are the audible surface and as such should be treated as an equal element.

surfaces # 2 (2011)

surfaces # 2 for quartet

stillness, brushed slightly by small audible gestures - placed in a continuous structure

the surface of the music should not be broken, trembled slightly perhaps but not more

a page for each performer whether each performer reads the score from top to bottom or left to right should be decided by their intuitive response to the page matters of duration are left to the performers, although a sense of space and slow unfurling of the music should be the aim this is a vista not a single frame

- Jez riley French 2011

the ‘returning’ scores (2009/11)

for ivan & anna

wing-waxed forests ....all holt-whispering first


score for rowan # 1

the ‘isolde’ scores (2010)

you swift held  saying  hold neck  kissing

Isolde score  #  1

warmcotton perfumed

Isolde score # 2

above just almost  softest

Isolde score  #  3

yes Isolde score  #  4

score for amy (2010)

(then summer) landscapes

for ensemble.... duration 20 minutes

two approaches: one; performers should record a 20 minute realisation of the score, keeping in mind an essential use of space & tone not only in this ‘solo’ but also knowing that it will be placed with other realisations, overlapping, to form one 20 or 40 minute ensemble version - whether or not the full 20 minutes of each performers interpretation is used will be decided by the placement of each recording, composed by myself. Restraint should come from the nature of the image, the tentative, the assured, the minute and the immense vistas....there should be more space than overtly performed sound.... natrual sounds of the environment in which the recording takes place are to be a guideline for the maximum volume of any performed sound & no attempt to limit their inclusion on the recording should be made.... two; an ensemble of between 4 & 10 players should perform the piece without any prior rehearsal, indoors but with any windows open & with the direction ‘immesity in the smallest detail, a warming quietude’ - JrF 2010

score for carina (2011)

score for carina

lip, covered

score for carina lip, covered

the music should arrive, tentative, and be covered by the hands (as if to cover the mouth from view in order to be discrete - to resonate, rarely glimpsed) matters of duration are left to the arrival and eventual flight of the music - performers should not hasten this or grow tired tentative - glimpsed - resonate - eventual

JrF march 2011

‘moments’ (2010) ....a natural and unhurried progress towards further simplicity has, I believe, enriched my creative life and with these current scores I feel closer to something untouchable in my composition - to a visual representation of the value of the moment just before a string or a key is touched....the synergy between focus and emotion


score #  1    

moments of translucence should permeate a field of subtle tones performer(s) should allow an intuitive response to the visual image to determine the quiet nature of the piece matters of duration are left to the performer(s)

....moments                                                                                                                                                                     score  #  2

score for paiva river (2010/11)

further scores (2011)

fossil, light

four tones, textured, inform the performance matters of duration are left to the performer(s)

four sections, four silences (2011)

four sections, four silences (one to conclude the performance)

owl window / this bridge (2010/11) part of the series of creative works entitled ‘ghost’

owl window

this bridge for harp

for piano

tonal score in ten sections (2011)

each section corresponds to one gesture - the duration of which should mirror the length of the section edges of each section represent either the way in which each gesture should begin & end or develop each section features visual elements and one of these in each section should form the cue for the sound stillness, tonal, on the edge of the audible, lightness of touch

vocal score for choir # 1 (2011)

the photographic score should be contemplated by all performers prior to the performance - the image is to provide a sense of texture for the singers to mirror

notes will be placed amongst quietude, by means of a piano or organ - four singers will work together to create a chord of extreme harmony that hovers around the notes and is sustained, but of low volume - on the edge of audibility two singers should take their cue from the chord created by the four singers above - adding to the chord from a distance within the performance space

four singers should move around the space, not singing but listening to the way the music created by the six singers above alters - this should be done in the most careful silence, very slow movements

other singers should move around the space, adding further harmonies always with extended tones, subtle and on the edge of audibility

blossom cover (2011)

‘blossom cover’ - score for stillness

a performance space should be chosen - matters to be considered are: . there should be one large white, empty, flat wall with another facing it . the space should be as clear from visual or audible distraction as possible . the space should feel tentative but emotive . there should be a sense of openness in the space a recording of the empty performance space should be made the available recorder should be fully powered and have an empty memory card or other recording media installed the recorder should be left in the space on its own to record until its memory is full the image should be projected on one wall of the performance space, as large as possible taking up the entire wall no other light should be in the space except for the projected image comfortable seating should be placed in the space, facing the projected image the recording of the space should be played back into the space the volume should add the recordings personality to the ambient audible silence but not cover it four active speakers should be used each speaker should be adjusted until the sound feels warm the duration of the performance is decided by the length of the recording.... JrF 2011

light tones (covered) (2011)

light tones (covered) - score for soloist

a building (calm) two zithers two or more ebows 4 tuning forks (notes d e f b) 4 glasses (that produce a note when bowed) bow one zither is placed somewhere close to one side of the building, the other close to the opposite side of the building 2 tuning forks & 2 glasses are placed close to each of the remaining sides of the building (based on a simple north, south, west & east reading of the building) a recorder is placed inside the empty building four windows are opened around the building the performer presses record and goes outside the performer slowly circles the building sounding the objects & instruments the performer carries the bow & the ebows the ebows are placed on the zither’s strings the tuning forks bowed the glasses bowed the performance lasts

if you would like to perform one or more of these scores please contact:

published by engraved glass / JrF all rights p&c JrF 2011

Jez riley French - '....until now - photographic scores 2007-2011'  

a collection of photographic scores, composed between 2007 & 2011 by Jez riley French

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