Lucy Raven (b. 1977)
Shape Notes (2016)
Shape Notes
2016, Photographic animation, color, sound, 3:09min

A portrait of Alexander Calder’s work Chef d’orchestra (1966), which was made in collaboration with New York composer Earle Brown. When it was made in 1964, the work was intended to be both an instrument (“played” at intervals in an open score by four percussionists) and a conductor (after it was hit and spun in motion, the musicians returned to their percussion stands and imagined the petals of the mobile superimposed over their written score, playing only those notes.) For Shape Notes, two performances of Chef d'orchestre were staged and recorded. The audio recordings of those performances were then edited and used as a new score from which the visual rhythm of this work was composed.

Alexander Calder, Chef d'orchestre, 1966 © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York, all rights reserved

Earle Brown, Calder Piece, 1963–66 © 2016 Earle Brown Music Foundation

Performed by Talujon Percussion Quartet on 9 January 2016 at Friends Seminary, New York