Etude for Flute and Conductor

I have been working on a short piece for flute and interactive conductor where I both try out notation for extended flute technique and graphics indicating electronic sounds. The extended flute technique notation is based on the notation Kaija Saariaho uses in her compositions and has somewhat become a universal way to notate this kind of flute playing. I like using it since it is directly evolved from the traditional notation system and therefore a logical extension causing the performer as little needless extra steps and makes reading the music more “natural”. It is always a question how far composer should go when notating his/her compositions. In the sixties, there was a “period when every new piece had to have its own notational system”. (Dick, Robert. “Notes.” Notes, vol. 46, no. 1, 1989, pp. 236–237., then “…there has been a sensible trend toward directness in notation and its plethora of notations discarded in favor of traditional noteheads with simple, direct instructions printed in plain language above them. (Dick, Robert. “Notes.” Notes, vol. 46, no. 1, 1989, pp. 236–237.,
I must confess that I do agree with Robert Dick that there is a limitation how “innovative” one comes when comes to music notation. The classical notation has survived all sorts of new musical trends or styles and does not need any drastic changes. Therefore it is my intention to use the classical notation system to its utmost, adding “approved” external notation and plain written text.

When it comes to writing down the electronics I do get a bit confused, how can I interpret the electronic sounds so that it is easy for the performer and conductor to follow or understand. There has to be some relationship between what is heard and what is seen in the score. In this example, I try to draw graphically the various volumes of three major effects used in the piece, Delay, Reverb, and Feedback. The graphics I use for the effects are based on well known graphical signs for these effects as I try to be in harmony with my own theory to re-use and adjust to my needs already accepted signs instead of innovating. Still, I am not concerned if I am on the right track and will continue to do some experiments. One of coming experiment is if I can use graphics (fonts) used in “Aural Sonology” ( a method to analyze sonic and structural aspects of music-as-heard that has been developed at the Norwegian Academy of Music. More to come…

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