Monday, January 26, 2015


(... or musical notation as comics?)

Title: “Chomsky Vs. Foucault”
Medium: Graphic score, 8.5” by 11” ink on paper. 2007.
Composer: Daniel Schnee
Nationality: Canadian


This work is a graphic score: a musical composition utilizing non-standard notation: an original combination text, symbols, and numbers. The score represents four distinct territories or systems, each of which can be played or excluded at will. The performer is to read each territory as a set of possible directions inspiring free improvisation in the moment of emotional response, like a sort of musical Rorschach test. One can also assign dynamic or musical values to each segment of each territory and thus read it more like a traditional score, e.g. the name of the composer Tallis equals the note G. One could also interpret the names listed in the lower left hand corner as indications of what kinds of ideas and sounds can be brought in from other sources, i.e. Takemitsu suggests quoting material/themes from Toru Takemitsu’s work November Steps.

The title and imagery of the work is a cartoonish depiction of the 1971 Dutch television debate between linguist Noam Chomsky and philosopher Michel Foucault on the subject of human nature. Each bark at the other, and while they do not come to an agreement, they unwittingly display human nature in the form of argumentation.


Dr. Daniel Schnee is an ethnomusicologist and saxophonist who has performed worldwide with over twenty different Juno and Grammy™ Award winning musicians. He has also been internationally recognized as a graphic score composer, and is a former student of both Pulitzer Prize-winning saxophonist Ornette Coleman, and legendary Japanese GUTAI artist Shozo Shimamoto.


No comments:

Post a Comment