Painting Music • One-Page Score


Graphic Notation (def.): a rogue representation of music using liberated symbols;  a form of freedom; a visual work of art with transformative aural potential.

Want to create your own graphic score, and have it played by a live ensemble?
Sign up for LABORATORIO’s free three-day workshop with the One-Page-Score Ensemble. No musical background or training is necessary – just a desire to create and explore sound.
With this workshop, we want to encourage everyone to discover the playful and engaging exercise of imagination through sonic and visual perception. Learn, explore and enjoy a rare opportunity to have a large ensemble of exceptional musicians at your creative fingertips.
Led by LABORATORIO’s artistic director Giorgio Magnanensi, with François Houle (Clarinet), Eyvind Kang (Viola), Lisa Miller (Keyboards) and visual artists Dean Schutz and Maurice Spira, the workshop will focus on the use of graphic notation where signs and symbols can be used to represent sounds, textures and various kinds of sonic events.
Graphic scoring does not require any prior knowledge of how to read or write traditional music notation. In our first meeting on March 24, we will explore numerous forms of graphic notation and introduce ideas of orchestration and sound composition, while our guest visual artists will help participants to create abstract drawings for their own one-page graphic score. Then, during two extended sessions, a selection of one-page scores will be rehearsed (April 1st), interpreted and performed by the One-Page Score Ensemble on April 2, 2016 at the Roberts Creek Community Hall.
The workshop is free; however space is limited. Please, send your name and contact information to to register.
Please note this workshop is for ages 16+
Registration will be on a first-come-first-served basis so don’t delay!


WORKSHOP SCHEDULE • Roberts Creek Community Hall

Thursday, March 24               6pm-9pm
Friday, April 1                             1pm-3pm  • BREAK • 3:30pm-6:30pm
Saturday April 2                         11am-1pm • BREAK • 2pm-5pm





Saturday, April 2, 2016

Roberts Creek Community Hall

Tickets are on a sliding scale pay-what-you-can from  $5 – $10 at the door.

Doors open 7:30 PM • Show starts 8:00 PM


Workshop Leaders

François Houle, Clarinet • Eyvind Kang, Viola • Giorgio Magnanensi, Conduction

Lisa Cay Miller, Keys • Dean Schutz, Visual Artist • Maurice Spira, Visual Artist

A stellar ensemble of 12 local, Vancouver and International musicians


Doug Gorkoff, Cello
François Houle, Clarinet & Electronics
Eyvind Kang, Viola
John Kastelic, Viola
Janine Island, Violin
Giorgio Magnanensi, Conduction
Mark McGregor, Flute
Chad McQuarrie, Electric Guitar
Lisa Cay Miller, Keyboards
Graham Ord, Saxophone
Katie Rife, Percussion
Stefan Smulovitz, Viola & Electronics


Here some beautiful graphic scores:


Cardew's Treatise page 183

Cornelius Cardew, page 183 from his monumental graphic score Treatise


check also this image gallery


Cathy Berberian, page from Stripsody


Four Systems

Earle Brown, 4 Systems for solo piano


Here a rendition of December Variations by Earle Brown:



Montez Magno

Montez MagnoNotassons: Notações Musicais e Visuais Aleatórias


Anestis Logothetis, Kollisionen

Rainer Wehinger‘s visual listening score to accompany Gyorgy Ligeti‘s Artikulation 

…a sort of graphic score in reverse.


Cornelius Cardew, Treatise (p.140-165)


and here the performance of the first One-Page Score installment with the Plastic Acid Orchestra, recorded 23 January 2016 at Vancouver Community College:


you can find more graphic notation examples HERE


and here:


Drawn from Sound


Ears have Eyes


Playing pictures: the wonder of graphic scores





From the early twentieth century, certain groups of composers began 

questioning every convention and by the 1950s began liberating themselves 

from traditional notation through the use of visual symbols to create works 

of often stunning aesthetic quality. Blurring the boundaries between visual, 

written and musical languages, graphic scores saw collaboration between 

composers and visual artists, the influence of which is still felt today. 


John Cage famously celebrated this prolific era for graphic scores with his

book Notations (co-edited with Alison Knowles), which included works by 

the likes of Louis Andriessen alongside Yoko Ono and even a decorated 

lyric sheet by The Beatles. Whilst the initial blast of heat around graphic 

scores cooled in the 70s, their visual excitement remains highly seductive 

for many creating music today with artists from Aphex Twin to John Zorn 

using graphic notation in their work.


…though graphic notation is way older than that: 

ancient egyptian notationAncient Egyptian music notation from a set of 6 parchments described by German musicologist Hans Hickmann in his 1956 book Musicologie Pharaonique (Music under the Pharaohs), as dating from the 5th to 7th centuries C.E.




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