30 Days of New Music for Mental Health: Days 15 – 21

This is a belated post about the daily music I made 6 – 12 January 2022, as part of my attempt to create something every day for 30 days to help manage the waiting period for an ‘urgent’ psychiatric appointment. See my last 2 posts about Days 1 – 14.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to 30 days. On the 21st day I ended up in A&E and that was the last day. I haven’t been able to do much work…I love making music and even if it’s a fluxus text score that takes all of 30 seconds to write, it is work. I didn’t bounce back quickly. I’ve had to prioritise PhD work so haven’t made anything I can share (yet).

I’m glad I did this, even though at times it was quite stressful it has made me more confident in making things without too much planning or thought and finding value in that quick process.

Day 15: NAAATIVE

A remix of my performance of Pauline Oliveros’ Native (from Sonic Meditations 1974) from Day 14. The main focus of the original walk was walking past a closing lock on Regents Canal, a white noise of spilling water. This remix is drawing that noise out and filtering and all those good acousmatic things.

Day 16: Around

M Steinberg: Around (graphic turntable score)

I spent a while thinking about how to make a turntable shaped graphic score, and reading Maria Chavez’s book ‘Of Technique: Chance Procedures on Turntable’ which has fantastic hand-drawn diagrams of her turntable techniques.

Day 17: Through

M Steinberg: Through (graphic turntable score)

I decided to keep the score format, and mountains, and make a couple of variations by changing the colour and text instruction. The colour choices are random but I was thinking about evocative colour palettes and how a performer might interpret them differently.

Day 18: Fall

M Steinberg: Fall (graphic turntable score)

This has a muddier, darker colour combination and the tone of the instruction ‘fall through’ is markedly darker and different to the last two: ‘find a way around’ and ‘find a way through’. They are clearly different instructions on how to do something actively, whereas to ‘fall through’ is passive and hopeless. My mental wellbeing definitely seeping into this work.

Day 19: Tracking (score v2)

In the previous week I made a ‘Tracking’ audio score and traditional staff score (with microtonal notation). This is a second version of a score using a calendar format, colours and graphics overlayed on staff notation. I create or at least start drafts of a lot of graphic scores on manuscript paper, putting graphics or text over staves immediately as a classically trained musician makes you look at it in a certain way.

M Steinberg: Tracking v3

Day 20: Around (Stravinsky)

A performance of the first turntable graphic score, ‘Around’, using an LP of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. The intention was to do a recording of all 3 scores. My interpretation of the scores was:

  • Pick a record that I felt reflected the colour palette
  • Imagine the mountain on an area of the disc
  • Follow the text instruction using scratching, looping and live mixing

I really liked this, actually, will hopefully get to the other ones soon. (When reunited with my turntable 😦 )

Day 21: New performance art piece

I think under the rules of Post-Internet Art, this counts.

This is me having finished The Tourist (on BBC) and watching some interviews with Jamie Dornan. My paternal grandparents had Irish accents, which probably means something.

Then I went to A&E (not related to the Irish). Mostly recovered now. Psychiatrist appointment went well.

That’s all folks!

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