elaine longtemps music
The rules of each art are interchangeable.--Emerson
The music series explores the concept of music notation as a system of symbols that can be translated into any other art form. For years I had been exploring a way to create visual music, and I finally developed a personal method of notation on a grid that could dictate the placement of ropes on a canvas. The first sketch, in fact, was thread hanging from vellum, which progressed to string on canvas and then to rope.
Four events reinforced my confidence in this endeavor: In 1972, the publication of a translation of Erhard Karkoschka's Notation in New Music, Praeger Publishers In 1974, an exhibition of notation for choreography at Hunter College, NYC In 1980, an exhibition of music graphics by another artist at Avery Fisher Hall, NYC In 1989, the reprint of Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Doghlas R. Hofstadter, Vintage Press
My music notation system also forms the basic structure for many works in the AMERICA HOMELAND series (see AMERICA).