This started as a printed graphic score (see "nesssoftware.com/home/asn/homepage/scores/akousmetria_score.pdf"), but it was too hard to coordinate. By turning the score into a video, not only was the rhythm tighter, but the audience got to read along with the musicians; the performance became a game of reading skills.
Recorded live in April 2009 at NYU. Performers:
Tom Blancarte, bass
Nathan Davis, percussion
Peter Evans, trumpet
Dan Peck, tuba
Meighan Stoops, bass clarinet
Katherine Young, bassoon
Technical info: I used Python and the ReportLab PDF tools to make both the original, printable graphic score and a reformatted score in which the measures are laid out in one continuous system, as they appear in the video. I used ImageMagick to chop this long reformatted score into frames, and ffmpeg to arrange these frames in a video. I also used ffmpeg to mux the (unmixed) recording with the video.
There are, of course, simpler and more direct ways to make an animation. I used this mix of tools not out of tech-nerd pride or masochism, but because I expected to give the players a printed score when I started writing this piece. If I could do it over again, I would use Processing for the scrolling score and not worry about the printed score at all. But I'm not sorry the compositional process was circuitous: "The game is worthwhile insofar as we don't know what will be the end."
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