Part of the 'Over to You' group show at Bank Street Arts, a show where artists were encouraged to respond in some way to the Art Sheffield 2010 festival. The amount of money spent on the festival seemed a key theme at a meeting about the show, and the public accounts showing expenditure on marketing etc were distributed. I decided to use these accounting statements as raw material for a piece.
I developed a set of rules which convert the expenditure categories and their monetary values into musical information, controlling the notes played, their duration and timbre.
This is inspired by processes used by John Cage, who created several ‘chance' or‘indeterminate' pieces by deriving the musical parameters from non-musical sources, turning flecks in a piece of paper into noteheads, or by over laying star charts on to a musical stave.
In making such a work the composer surrenders to the music produced from specific details of the document, rather than their own musical taste. The listener was invited to scrutinise the accounting statements from this unusual standpoint and to consider that, if the accounts were different, the music would be too.
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