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Graffiti composition: screenplay

Beresford, Steve and Butcher, John and Lovens, Paul and Marclay, Christian (2005) Graffiti composition: screenplay. In: LSO , 22 Mar 2005, St. Luke’s, London. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Ongoing collaboration with Christian Marclay. ‘Graffiti Composition’ and ‘Screenplay’ are two related works consisting of live musical improvisation and performance. They are part of an ongoing collaboration with the artist Christian Marclay. 'Graffiti Composition' involved Beresford directing an invited orchestra of improvising musicians. The work focuses on making music from the random compositional acts of strangers. Prior to realization, Marclay fly-posted several hundred sheets of blank manuscript paper, collecting the sheets some days later, after passers-by had written on them – using either traditional music notation or more transgressive interference modes (colour-blocks, torn holes in or abstract graphic symbols on the paper) – and sending photographs of them to Beresford. Beresford’s directorial decisions helped these random graffiti become music via simple formal processes – restricting each musician to a handout of two MS each, or stipulating a mini-concerto for each player. Beresford’s contribution explores the paradox of improvisation stipulated by strangers and controlled, however loosely, by the structuring agency of a musical director. ‘Screenplay’ extended this collaborative process between Marclay and Beresford. Beresford and other musicians responding to a visual track comprising found and public domain moving images manipulated by Marclay – gunfight scenes from a TV Western; running water; racing cars morphing into crying children, and so on, in black-and-white, with single-colour blocks appearing and developing as lines, spots, and other suggestive ‘notation’. The elliptical, surprising, humorous nature of the images at times is hyperexplicated by the improvised music, and at others challenged, ignored or contradicted by the musicians’ interaction. ‘Graffiti Composition’ was performed by the LSO at St. Luke’s, London, March 22, 2005. ‘Screenplay’ premiered in Dundee in 2006, and toured Europe during 2007. Reviewed in the Herald (21 Feb 06) and Times (24 March 07). Beresford’s work as improviser, composer and performer was profiled in The Wire (April 2002, May 2005).

Item Type:Performance
Additional Information:Place of performance: LSO St. Luke’s, London, March 22, 2005 (Graffiti Composition) ‘Kill Your Timid Notion’ festival, Dundee, Feb 21, 2006; ‘Weekend Marclay’, Cité de la Musique, Paris, May 5, 2007; ‘Courtisane Festival’, Gent, May 6, 2007 (Screenplay)
Research Community:University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design, School of
ID Code:4809
Deposited On:07 May 2008 15:46
Last Modified:08 Jun 2010 10:37

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