Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988) was an Italian composer and poet. Due to the improvisatory nature of Scelsi’s compositional process, and the oral transmission of his interpretational practice, we are confronted with the inevitability of losing direct sources of performance instructions, with the passing of the composer and his original players.
The most problematic aspect of Scelsi's legacy is its reliance on the score, written by his assistants in traditional European notation. The current hierarchical view on the score restricts the performers’ creative freedom, requiring complying with an ‘exact-replica’ of the score. Instead, in rehearsals, Scelsi demanded artistic participation from his performers, urging them to overlook the accurate reproduction of the score and to initiate the creative momentum of an original improvisation.
This research will develop strategies of alternative notation based on the original Scelsian improvisation recordings through video Animated Scores. Posing the questions, how do Animated Scores provide the Scelsian player with a greater sense of creative freedom? What type of skills do performers need and what role do they play in order to realise a genuine interpretation of the Animated Scores?
Though the use of Animated Scores, the research seeks to provide current and future Scelsian players with a greater degree of creative freedom, establish a performance practice and question the existing hierarchical composer-score-performer structure in classical music.