For my submission to Riffs Journal, I created a graphic music score for solo voice, using fragments from 12 different pop songs, ranging in style from David Bowie to Beyoncé, with themes drawn from the initial starting point of the call; Dan Wilson’s ‘A Song Can Be About Anything’ from Love Without Fear:
SONG / PEACE / WAR / SINS / INDUSTRY / DISCONTENT / FAME / OBSCURITY / DAY / LOVE / HAPPINESS / FLOOR
I then employed the literary ‘cut-up technique’ by taking phrases/words/snippets/hooks of each chosen pop song, and using them to create the lyrics for a new song. I have set these lyrics to music in the form of a graphic score, to be freely interpreted and uniquely performed by any reader. My interest here lies in the recycling nature of popular music, and the overall rubric of the call in regards to a song being ‘about anything’, and so in this sense, the meaning is down to the interpreter or listener in an interactive act. My research and work here juxtaposes avant-garde compositional technique with a reflection on the nature of certain popular music aesthetics, hopefully being part of a wider artistic and philosophical endeavour (begun by composer Alfred Schnittke) to unify high and low art forms, in order to open up the accessibility of ‘contemporary music’ to new and diverse audiences.
Read Daniel’s full piece HERE