A musical drawing concert composed entirely by the audience!
Visual scores are a fascinating phenomenon of contemporary music. They gained much popularity in the 50s and 60s, when composers like Iannis Xenakis and Cornelius Cardew were looking for ‘different’ ways to write down music and sounds, discarding traditional musical notation for lines, colours, shapes or texts, for example.
Double bassist Kristof Roseeuw regularly came into contact with graphic scores during his musical career. He performed with Eugene Chadbourne and played contemporary music with ‘Het Spectra Ensemble’. He was also invited to play contemporary visual scores created by Belgian composers together with the double bass ensemble “Basssss” as part of the 10 years of JazzCase Neerpelt / Citadelic Ghent celebration.
He used that knowledge to develop DRAWING BASSES at the nomadic drawing festival Drawing Days at the request of Muziekcentrum de Bijloke.
DRAWING BASSES is a drawing concert where the audience first draw up graphic scores after a short explanation, which are then performed by the ensemble consisting of three double bassists. During the concert, the audience gets to draw a second time, capturing the musicians or interpreting the compositions that they had just given them using pen and paper.
A musical drawing concert composed entirely by the audience! After a short explanation about graphic scores, a recap of their history and some examples, the audience get to work. They have about five minutes to create their own partitions, which are then placed in front of the artists. The concerts kicks off when one of the musicians picks a score, showing it to the audience (in order for its creator to feel engaged), and the ensemble starts playing. One of the musicians can pick a new drawing at any time during the concert and show it to the audience, after which the ensemble switches to the interpretation of the next score seemlessly.
This process continues until all scores have been performed. While the musicians are playing, the audience pick up their pencils again, drawing the double basses, the artists, their hands, the atmosphere… That way, it is a double drawing session and you get to go home with what will probably be your first graphic score or composition and your drawings of the musicians.
For the organiser:
*It’s possible to play sessions for adults, children, musical students… Mixing the different age groups are inspiring, as the scores drawn by children counterbalance adults’ creations nicely.
*It’s important that the audience can be seated comfortably and that they can position themselves around the artists freely. A combination of pillows, sofas, and chairs, for example, would be nice in order for people of all ages to be comfortable.
*Availabilities can be discussed. The musicians are picked from a pool of Basssss members based on when they are free:
Peter Jacquemyn Yannick Peeters Kristof Roseeuw Pieter Lenaerts Tim Vandenberghe
“Kristof Roseeuw is a man with golden fingers, who appears to become one with his double bass sometimes. The elegant instrument creates a good atmosphere, live charge, sonorization and threatening compassion. A soundtrack created in the moment, the double bass acting as a mood enhancer, pure beauty at times.” – Vrt-/cultuur en media /Peter Decroubele