By chance I recently unearthed materials from Possibility of Action: The Life of the Score, a wonderful exhibition curated by Barbara Held that opened 9 years ago today at MACBA Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona.
A dress made of the striped edition of Sonic Fabric (woven from cassette tape recorded with a collage of looped and layered sounds) was included. Each of the colors in the pattern represents one of the 12 tones in the Western scale, with two additional colors representing rests (silence).
|Ensemble created for Experimental Musical Instrument Day at Lincoln Center, 2005|
The pattern in the fabric was composed visually; I didn't know what it would sound like until it was notated, which happened later. I didn't think of using this method of composition again until recently...and even then, I didn't initially connect it to the sonic fabric stripe pattern...
In 2015 the Tonal Relativity project began to take shape...this ongoing series of works started out as a way of illustrating modes and intervals in a 12-tone musical system using a language of shape and color. The first set of sketches – scrawled in pencil on a 3x5 card – were created for my own use, as a reference tool that could be drawn upon in improvisational settings. A logical next step was to experiment with composition using the set of 12 colors. Any color can be used to represent any tone, with all other colors/tones in the spectrum being relative.