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Hearing-Visions-Sonores

A multi-media art exhibit of nine Quebec-based improvisers and four Guelph area artists

Hearing-Visions-Sonores is a multi-media art exhibit of the graphic scores of nine Quebec-based composer/improvisers and four Guelph area artists. The Hearing-Visions-Sonores initiative was developed by ICASP in partnership with the Marvin Duchow Music Library at McGill University, the Daniel Langlois Foundation (one of our project partners), and the University of Guelph Library. Graphic scores for experimental music use non-traditional symbols and text to convey information about the performance of a piece of music. They are artworks that creatively blur the distinction between music and visual art. The exhibit, part of the Improvisation, Text, and Media research area, was launched in Montreal at the McGill Music Library in March 2009.

The Guelph Extension of this travelling exhibit added the work of four new artists and was launched at the Guelph Jazz Festival and Colloquium in September 2009. The Guelph Extension also featured a roundtable discussion on graphic scores at the colloquium.

ICASP and the Guelph Jazz Festival and Colloquium commissioned three composer/ percussionists - Germaine Liu, Joe Sorbara, and Jesse Stewart - to collectively develop a new graphic score, performed at the 2009 Festival and Colloquium.

Each musician prepared an individual score and then, coming together on the morning of the performance, the three finally saw each other's scores for the first time. They worked collaboratively and improvisatorily to create a new score built from elements of each individual score, rehearsed for a couple of hours, and then performed the piece for an audience of what Stewart calls "festival and colloquium attendees as well as a few unsuspecting (and somewhat perplexed) library patrons."
Photos, an essay by Stewart, and a film by Nick Loess profiling the collaboration are available in ICASP's Research Collection. You can also see the HVS website here.

If people talked the way they drummed in improvisation, then I think the world would be a lot nicer…

– Youth participant, ICASP improvisation workshop