Composed Improvisation E (2009)

For any number of performers, but not less than four. Write a score, or transcribe a “found score” in the form of an eye-chart, so that the size of notes gradually decrease as they proceed. Use the Snellen chart as model, and arrange the notes in eleven vertical rows. The exact number of notes in each row may not follow the Snellen chart, but should increase as their size decreases. The size of notes should follow the Snellen chart but with the following modifications: the standard optotype size should be vertically divided to accommodate three notes (four staves). The fifth staff should be added keeping the same interval. So a note on the topmost row (20/200) should be sized 29.6mm (88.7 mm/3) tall, the eight row (20/20) should be sized 2.96 mm tall, and so on. The intervals between the rows should be arranged to accommodate the note stems and the use of ledger lines. When written instruction is used, the letter size should follow the Snellen chart. The green and red blocks usually inserted respectively after the sixth and eighth rows in the Snellen chart, may or may not be used. At the performance, all the performers stand twenty feet away from the score and perform in unison. Each performer drops out when s/he can read no more. The piece ends when the last performer drops out.


ellen c. covito