My cellist friend Aaron Kerr just started writing his scores by hand on very large paper, drawing the staves and notes. It was a return to the masters, who until very recently, wrote by hand. “Cool!” I thought.
I started by creating staff paper by cut and paste, using the spaces on the page to have little motifs. I then copied them onto stiff cardstock. This worked perfectly for what I wanted--scores that had little motifs spread around the page that musicians could explore and develop. It wasn’t long before I started to add extra musical symbols to interpret. These were mostly in colored pen and pencils. I added some sketches, and started putting a lot of information on the page, so that musicians could choose from a wider palette. Carei Thomas said “Yeah! This is a great path! Take it!”
In September of 2021, Aaron Kerr produced my first concert of these visual/ intuitive scores. He, Michelle Kinney and Laura were part of that combo. Now I am making the scores larger (up to 16x20”) and being more aware of the spaces in between.
I came into this music through free jazz--improvising off the top of your head, exploring the sonic possibilities. It is difficult to play in this style. If one is not diligent, it is easy to repeat yourself, again and again.
With the visual/intuitive scores, my goal is to give just enough information to hold the work together. I trust the musicians I choose to use their vast musical technique and sensibilities to create meaning. And each time, I am continually surprised. As you see these scores and hear this music, let your mind time travel, make connections, space out. Please enjoy!"
STUDIO Z PRESENTS
TODD HARPER'S VISUAL/INTUITIVE SCORES
$15 / $10 students
This concert is produced as part of "Studio Z Presents," a new concert series curated by musicians in our community, thanks to a grant from the City of Saint Paul STAR Program.