John Kannenberg



"Landscape I : Vanishing Point" is a graphic score for musical performance composed in January, 2004.

The score is based on a drawing and field recording I made of the shore of Lake Michigan in October of 2003. It consists of four individual parts (rotating around a common vanishing point) that can be performed by four or more musicians. While the score is meant to help guide the musicians through a decision-making process, the music performed is meant to be improvisational in nature.

Using two pencil markings from the drawing and two waveforms from the field recording as foundations, I overlayed a grid onto these images and determined the positions of the different colored squares you see in the score. Each color represents a type of musical decision: white = volume, grey = timbre, and black = complexity. The repeating hash marks (I-III) below each column of squares indicates a minute of time; the hash marks correspond to an audible cue which the performers use to gauge their position in the score—for example, during the piece's premiere at Chicago's Deadtech art + technology center, I kept time by tapping a cymbal one, two or three times to indicate the start of a new minute.

The four parts intersect at a central circle with a white square in the middle; this indicates that the players are to slowly fade their sound to a second of silence in the very middle of the piece, then fade their sound back up after the momentary pause. The process then repeats in reverse, with the piece ending after an 18 minute duration. Further information about this piece as well as the field recording necessary for its performance can be found on my personal [website].