Write a Song

by | Oct 15, 2021 | Artwork #1: Score, Projects

  1. Find a musical instrument. If you cannot find one or own one, then make one. You do not need to be able to play the instrument.
  2. Improvise something; a short rhythm or melody will worm.
  3. Record the improvisation.
  4. Repeat the improvisation until you’re sick of it.
  5. Wait a day.
  6. Play the improvisation again until you’re sick of it.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you one day forgot to perform the piece.
  8. Play the original recording once.

Artist’s Statement:
Prior to this class, I was not aware of scores, so my entire understanding of them is largely informed by what we’ve discussed and read for this class. Yoko Ono’s scores are the ones I am particularly familiar with given the readings, so my score’s format is largely informed by her style. John Cage was also a partial inspiration, but primarily with how he dealt with music rather than by any specific piece or aspect of his style. The title and thematic goal of the score is actually inspired by the song Sing from Sesame Street and the lyrics “Sing/Sing a song” which to me carry a very “anyone can do it” attitude that I was inspired by. When writing this score, I wanted to find a process that I was both familiar with yet accessible to a large number of people, and making short works of music by tapping out a rhythm or plucking on a stretched rubber band is something I enjoy doing while bored. I then extrapolated that process, treating it like composing a song, with some of the ideas behind this being how a song can change over the course of being written, how the things we remember change even over short distances, how repeating the same process that once seemed stimulating can become boring and irritating over time, and so on. In actually performing the score, the rhythm I tapped out was intended to fit a 5/4 meter which actually changed as I performed the score on my own over the next couple of days. The rhythm gained a beat which changed the meter to 6/4. This change was actually an intended goal of the score, as I wanted to capture the way a piece of music can change based on memory. If I were to iterate on this score, I’d probably expand its scope to a large group of people, maybe around ten, and have them all perform an improvisation collectively. Over the coming days, they would individually continue the score until a week had passed where they would then present what they remembered the improvised piece as.