The art of making scores

International Contemporary Ensemble – collaborative materials

The art of making scores on this page shows a series of R&D around the individual components that make up sheet music. This is where my Dutch design background and composing practice meets. Scrolling down on this page you will find an overview of experiments and work-in-progress. I want to design compositions in such a way the performers, the scores and the concert become one sculpted or choreographed event by its realisation.


Sheet Music

I thought the most minimalist form of scored music has to be playing the sheet of paper itself. Below some visual examples of R&D in the sonic capacities in rustling of various qualities of paper.

to do list of paper types
85 grams kite paper
220 grams watercolour paper

Page Turner Études No.1-3

The act of turning a page of the score is a sound source in its own right and part of the composition. Three Page Turner Études were commissioned by Eleonor Sandresky and No.1, pictured below, studies a reverse of roles where the page turning is the part and the piano is the operative.

Eleonor Sandresky-StonyPoint-PageTurnerÉtudeNo1-JobinaTinnemans
Eleonor Sandresky performing Page Turner Étude No.1 by Jobina Tinnemans at Stony Point, NY, 2018

Sculpting a score

A composition evolves over time. In printed parts one can move through time by following the bars and turning a page. Below I’m experimenting with the capillary action of water to move the score itself according to its composition.

Capillary score – test 6

Page Turner – exchanging paper for ceramics

The act of turning a page of the score is a sound source in its own right and part of the composition. Here, the rustling of paper is exchanged for the rich textural pitched sounds of kiln baked wares. The sound sample below is of bricks.

Sound of moving a brick over another brick. Recording by Tinnemans.
Porcelain bricks

Above – the pages of this graphic score are blocks of porcelain. Each block represents a bar of music and after playing, rather than being turned, the block is moved over a raw porcelain course to the next player, creating a sound by its friction.


Panoramic Scores

When taking away the booklet format of a score we are left with a continuous landscape-size configuration. Performers have to walk to read their parts. I imagine it as walking through a scenery with sounds fading in and out of earshot around corners and in the distance. The performers start anywhere in the graphic notated panorama and can reverse. Everyone experiences a landscape, a panorama, a view in their own way, nothing is ever the same. It’s for this reason the panoramic scores, pictured below, only use one single line. The staggered interpretations by multiple musicians unfold the single voice into a soundscape of harmonies.

Snaefelsness #2
Snaefelsness #1
Downs #1
Garn Fawr

Below is a first panoramic score I made during a residency in Druskininkai by the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, called IMAGIRO Landmannalaugar, and was premiered by ensemble Synaesthesis in Vilnius.

Rolling up 23 metres of graphic score in the turning weather.
Ensemble Synaesthesis performing IMAGIRO Landmannalaugar in the Black Print Room in Vilnius.


Ceramic Panoramic Scores

Combining the sound capacity of the kiln baked wares with the concept behind panoramic scores, I’ve been experimenting with the infinite music format, this time in a circle, which can be turned in place, while causing sound. Pictured below is an early experiment of porcelain graphic scores.

R&D ceramic panoramic scores
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