Open Scores Lab is a research group based in the College of Liberal Arts at Bath Spa University, directed by James Saunders. The Lab functions as an environment in which creative practitioners can experiment with new approaches to scoring, working with colleagues in other disciplines to support their research. It brings together: composers and artists whose practice includes making open scores in different media; performers who are experienced in realising open scores in performance; graphic designers who focus on the visual display and communication of information; creative computing specialists who explore networked processes and interactive systems; other researchers in related disciplines where there is a common interest in scoring and communicating instructions. The work of the Lab is to develop new approaches to scoring, and consequently to develop new modes of music making. This takes place through monthly meetings and a series of focused projects that deal with a specific aspect of score making:
- Locative scores (Scott, Saunders): users are directed to specific locations (e.g. by GPS) and access scores whose operation is contingent on a geographic feature (e.g. aural features of the environment, triggered audio files on a smartphone)
- Audio and animated scores (d’Heudieres, Hugill, Maia, Nickel, Saunders): information is transmitted to users in time through an audio and/or video stream rather than statically as written instructions, symbols or images. The instructions may be pre-recorded or transmitted live by participants. Players respond to the flow of information as it is delivered.
- Group behaviours (Dupras, Porfiriadis, Saunders): users make decisions as groups or respond to interpersonal cueing to create the music.
- Interfacial scores (Chatzimakris, Porfiriadis, Saunders): a single score may provoke realisations in more than one discipline (e.g. dance, writing, video), with the score acting as an interface between these disciplines.
- Live score generation (Dupras): computer-generated scores which give cues to individual performers, incorporating machine-listening, score following, and collaborative real-time composition or improvisation.
- Combinatorial scores (Hugill, Saunders): scores that define probabilistic or topological processes using graphs, decision-making and permutation of elements to produce different arrangements and sequences of material in each realisation.
- Improvisation and notation (Dorrell, Humphries, Maia, Penton): scores present frameworks for improvisers to work within.
- Living scores (Nickel): concepts and material are communicated to other people who become the repository for the work. Those realising the scores must consult the human repositories to learn what to do.
If you are interested in joining the Lab as a PhD student, please see our PhD page.