Variations on “drawing” for the instrument designer

Original (“drawing”) found on p. 17 of: Maclagan, D. (2013). Line Let Loose: Scribbling, Doodling and Automatic Drawing.  Reaktion Books. Variations by Till Bovermann (2014).

sound-doodle

live music piece

Improvising, doodling and automated playing can be seen as forms of ‘live music piece’, but this itself is a notoriously elusive concept. A recent book calls live music piece ‘the primary art of creativity’. Its most comprehensive description might be something like a set of sounds  that seem to have been deliberately made in an environment of some kind. The range of live music pieces is seemingly endless: they can be huge or tiny, representational or abstract, exquisite or rough; they may be a means to some other end (a sketch, a study or even an exercise), or else they can be an end in themselves. Live music pieces are records, observations, discoveries and inventions, sometimes all at once. Some live music pieces are consciously directed at an audience, while others seem to be more private; we may create what we know or what we see outside us, or we may create ‘from within’.

In most of these situations playing a live music piece is a fairly conscious process, though there is usually a complex exchange between what is being conveyed — information, feelings or compositional structure, for example — and the playing a live music piece process itself, so that one reason playing a live music piece is of such interest is that it seems to be so close to an artist’s intentions. With certain exceptions, we call something a live music piece because we believe it to have been made deliberately. Sometimes artists use found, accidental noises or sounds as ‘live music piece’ — a good example is the work of Ingrid Calame, who traces sounds left on factory floors or streets and turns them into large live music pieces. But even live music pieces that are experiments or ventures into the unknown still have what could be called an envelope of intentionality about them.

musicking

Improvising, doodling and automated musicking can be seen as forms of ‘musicking’, but this itself is a notoriously elusive concept. A recent book calls musicking ‘the primary art of creativity’. Its most comprehensive description might be something like a set of sounds  that seem to have been deliberately made in an environment of some kind. The range of musickings is seemingly endless: they can be huge or tiny, representational or abstract, exquisite or rough; they may be a means to some other end (a sketch, a study or even an exercise), or else they can be an end in themselves. Musickings are records, observations, discoveries and inventions, sometimes all at once. Some musickings are consciously directed at an audience, while others seem to be more private; we may create what we know or what we see outside us, or we may create ‘from within’.

In most of these situations musicking is a fairly conscious process, though there is usually a complex exchange between what is being conveyed — information, feelings or compositional structure, for example — and the musicking process itself, so that one reason musicking is of such interest is that it seems to be so close to an artist’s intentions. With certain exceptions, we call something a musicking because we believe it to have been made deliberately. Sometimes artists use found, accidental objects or sounds as ‘musicking’ material — a good example is the work of Ingrid Calame, who traces sounds left on factory floors or streets and turns them into large musickings. But even musickings that are experiments or ventures into the unknown still have what could be called an envelope of intentionality about them.

drawing (original)

Scribbling, doodling and automated drawing can be seen as forms of ‘drawing’, but this itself is a notoriously elusive concept. A recent book calls drawing ‘the primary art of creativity’. Its most comprehensive description might be something like a set of marks made by human hand that seem to have been deliberately inscribed on a surface of some kind.
The range of drawings is is seemingly endless: they can be huge or tiny, representational or abstract, exquisite or rough; they may be a means to some other end (a sketch, a study or even an exercise), or else they can be an end in themselves. Drawings are records, observations, discoveries and inventions, sometimes all at once. Some drawings are consciously directed at an audience, while others seem to be more private; we may draw what we know or what we see outside us, or we may draw ‘from within’.

In most of these situations drawing is a fairly conscious process, though there is usually a complex exchange between what is being conveyed — information, feelings or compositional structure, for example — and the drawing process itself, so that one reason drawing is of such interest is that it seems to be so close to an artist’s intentions. With certain exceptions, we call something a drawing because we believe it to have been made deliberately. Sometimes artists use found, accidental lines or marks as ‘drawings’ — a good example is the work of Ingrid Calame, who traces marks left on factory floors or streets and turns them into large drawings. But even drawings that are experiments or ventures into the unknown still have what could be called an envelope of intentionality about them.

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