For a project in 2011 that preceded this paper, I developed a graphic notation by processing both the intuitive imagination and gestic recording of private experiences as well as formal information. The result is a music video for Defective Vending Machine by the Basel-based band The Hoanhiêu. Based on the abstract, note-like score that represents a coherent system, that definitely can be deciphered (the phenomenological lies in the choice of signs), an equivalent in the real image was sought. In the next step, the particular signs are detached from their original meaning and therefore become pure form. A form, that looks for content in the real image - a new visual language. The transformation of the abstract into the supposedly meaningful creates the illusion of a narrative. The observer is able to understand the moving image in different ways.
This technique of image synthesis however can not simply be applied to a highly complex musical composition. With 18 musicians and a time prescription of 208 beats per second, the artist is bombarded by too many impressions to adequately put his inner vision to paper. For Music for 18 Musicians a more comprehensive and flexible system is needed, but more on that later.
While taking notes, this paper begun to turn subjective overall impressions of different aspects of the piece into single sketches. For this purpose, the composition was listened to under ideal conditions in a recording studio (Idee und Klang). In a nondual state of mind, the gestures flowed. While listening to it several times more, other aspects emerged as well. Imaginations of shifting, expansion, dissolving, pulsation and swinging. All this as movement of small, hard, sharp shapes (which have their origin in the wood percussion instruments), as a rotation around a centre and the superimposition of this rotation.
This intuitive method of sketching provided results, which included much of the audible intentions of the composer, yet on a coded, almost unconscious level.