SCORE: TRACE THAT SOUND was the UK’s largest ever exhibition of graphic musical notation, co curated by BethDerbyshire and Jo Scarf. It was housed in the spotlight exhibition on area of the Library of Birmingham and includedwork by 35 different artists from around the world, ranging from ranging from seminal works by John Cage andlecturers and students from Birmingham Conservatoire. SCORE was presented as the centre piece of FrontiersFestival held in Birmingham.
The exhibition was divided into three sections: Musical Graphics, Graphic Notation and Eye Music, with transitional works in between. As you move through the exhibition, you will find the scores function less as visual art and more as coded systems of music notation.
The exhibition also brought to life by Ringing Out, a specially-made three-dimensional score intervention by artist Beth Derbyshire and composer and artist Andy Ingamells. Balloons are displayed during moments of celebration, much like the ringing of church bells. The ringing of church bells doesn’t offer the same visual spectacle, though bell ringers use a visual system known as ‘rope sight’ to keep them in sequence. Bell ringing takes place away from the gaze of those who hear it, leaving just the sound resonating out from the bell tower.
Beth Derbyshire and Andy Ingamells brought ringing out of the towers and into the Library of Birmingham suspending giantmulti-coloured clusters of helium balloons that were moved by pulling on ropes. The changes in the cluster were read as musical notation by a live choir, filling the library with the sound of voices.
This is engendered 42 performances and outreach events reaching audiences of 45,000 with 3 partners.