Studies for Musical Notations and Emotional Scores

A project for Atlántica by Monika Bravo

text byMonika Bravo

When composers create music they employ a graphical musical language, producing a musical score so that their compositions can be interpreted over and over again. The score tells the interpreter — that is, the musician or musicians — how to locate the sounds in time so that they can be heard in space. Because it can simply be felt, and does not require analysis by the conscious mind, music is by far the most emotional of all the arts. I wanted to create my own emotional score, a visual representation of what it feels like when I listen to specific pieces of music. I have a profound connection to sound, but although I received musical training very early in my life, I am unable to play an instrument.

These studies begin with drawings made with graph paper and pencil, which, after being scanned and digitally vectorised, are re-drawn line by line, then printed and once again drawn over with graphite, before adding layers of acrylic pieces, glass, wood, and paint. Using the original score as a starting point, the project generates ever-changing variations in form and shape.

For Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, I created a 44-foot site-specific installation, based on three drawings that are repeated in form and scale across the entire wall. I used paint, graphite, glass, acrylic, tape, rulers, lasers, and a projector to make the drawings come alive. As part of the installation, a short animation, which recalls Hans Richter’s 1921 film Rhythm 21, was displayed on a 70-inch monitor.

Studies for Musical Notations and Emotional Scores | Atlántica
Studies for Musical Notations and Emotional Scores | Atlántica
Studies for Musical Notations and Emotional Scores | Atlántica
Studies for Musical Notations and Emotional Scores | Atlántica