Card file methods to trace new photo compositions

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Card File Methods
Card File Methods
Card File Methods

It feels like I have not posted anything in months. This discouraged feeling had taken its toll forcing me to make some sort of update. So I took a couple of photographs and now I am telling my story.

First of all the art show was a success. More people came out than I had expected. The improv performance was fun and seeing most of my friends there in support of the show was amazing. After all that I had decided to put the camera down for a little while. This feeling of photography felt burnt out and no new ideas had come to me. Well... I guess you could say that I didn't want anything to inspire me for the moment. Breaking away was needed to just refresh.

So... with the few weeks of putting the camera down I had started a new project. It has the same structure as the "An Evening With The Nurse," but in reverse. Instead of approaching the photo aspect first I have decided to let the music take the lead, thus opening a door in constructing the concepts. The idea is almost relevant to what the great composers would use such as Bach and Mozart. The music compositions come first than the play. It's like reading a book, but with musical notation.

Based on the photos I took up the idea of using the John Zorn "Card File" method. These compositions are a "... method of combining composition and improvisation in which Zorn would write down a description of what he wanted on file-cards and arrange them to form the piece" ( He explained this method in a 2003 interview with The Guardian stating that "I write in moments, in disparate sound blocks, so I find it convenient to store these events on filing cards so they can be sorted and ordered with minimum effort. Pacing is essential. If you move too fast, people tend to stop hearing the individual moments as complete in themselves and more as elements of a sort of cloud effect... I worked 10 to 12 hours a day for a week, just orchestrating these file cards. It was an intense process - one I don't want to go through again."

John Zorn was right about one thing. The process can take hours and hours, but it helps you look at the parts carefully. Since I don't know how to write notation I decided to write it all down in tablature. The lines and numbers are the indication of notes and frets. This process can take weeks and maybe months to complete. I am only at my second idea.

This slow process helps me go deep in my imagination. It may take a whole year to start the idea, but it's something I can be motivated to finish.