Having become more confident in my ability to write, I've become interested in the handwritten score as between the graphic and the traditionally engraved in a way, so that the way in which it is written expresses a certain possibility.
Certain scores, especially those of composers associated with Wandelweiser, express a certain quality in their scores that perhaps determines how they end up being expressed: Jürg Frey's fragile handwriting, Antoine Beuger's small collections of a few notes surrounded by the ocean of the page, the clinical—almost objective—instructions of Manfred Werder and Michael Pisaro, among others.
There is a Takemitsu essay that briefly touches upon this, "The Landscape of the Score", in which he writes:
One might add that music’s real essence is protected by the ambiguities of writing. Grasped in the moment of performance, pitch, rhythm, even loudness are all relative. The notion of the score is a boundless symbol of the will toward precision, but it is not a recording of the results. The conductor’s role as a medium, and this may seem contradictory, is to grasp precisely that ambiguity and to express the desire for constant variety. That is, in a thousand performances he must reveal a thousand different expressions. It is this that gives music that special quality in which a single composition can be repeatedly performed. (Takemitsu 1995, 46)
Takemitsu, Toru, Yoshiko Kakudo, and Glenn Glasow. “The Landscape of the Score.” Essay. In Confronting Silence: Selected Writings, 46–48. Berkeley: Fallen Leaf Press, 1995.
Sean Patrick Ignatius Tartaglia
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