Cartographic Compositions: Overview


Since 2006, I have been composing a series of conceptually related pieces with the aim to animate public spaces with music (and sometimes dance) and to create a provocatively unconventional relationship between musicians and their audience. My scores in this series are not merely graphic in nature; they are cartographic. I use maps to define spatial and temporal relationships between musicians, and between musicians and listeners. While most music scores prescribe sound activities while leaving performance contexts undefined (or defined, by default, through convention), my cartographic scores propose how players and/or listeners move through specific outdoor or architectural spaces, while, to varying degrees, leaving the musical content up to the skilled creative musicians for whom the pieces are composed. Typically, I create a context in which listeners cannot hear all of the music and thus must choose whom they hear, using the score (which doubles as an event program) as a guide, though a more serendipitous experience without reference to the score is no less encouraged. This performance dynamic grants audience members agency that mirrors the decision-making process that improvising musicians engage in performance.