The Animated Score for Study no. 6 [Escalators] requires performers to predetermine a series of sonic events that are both locally (player) and globally (ensemble) distinct. As per the subtitle, the Animated Notation emulates a series of escalators moving up and down, and each player traverses the score based on a set of rules detailed in the instructions below.
For 5 or more players.
Prior to performance, each player determines 8 sonic events. There are no restrictions as to what these sound events are, so long as they are distinct from another.
Each sonic event will correspond to one of the 8 colors represented in the score: blue, red, black (not including the start and stop boxes), pink, tan/brown, turquoise, orange, and yellow.
Each player begins at the start box on the left side of the score. The first move (from start) can be to any colored box. After this initial move, players have several possibilities for navigating the score. A move is not a physical or visible act, but the player's eyes moving from their current active box to another.
1: The player may move to an adjacent box on the left or right of their active box so long as the adjacent box is the same color as the active box. A box is considered adjacent when it is within the column to the immediate left or right of the active box, and is at approximately the same vertical position.
2: The performer may move up or down one box, even if the new box is a different color than the active box. Once a performer moves up or down one box, they must move right or left before moving up or down again, as per no. 1.
3: If several vertically contiguous boxes of the same color are directly above or below the active box, they can be considered an extension of the active box. For example, if a player's active box is orange, and there are 3 orange boxes directly above it, the performer may move to the box above those 3 boxes, as per no. 2, without treating each contiguous box as a separate entity.
Player must play the sonic event that corresponds to their active box's color once before moving to the next box. There are no limitations as to how long one may pause before or after a sonic event. Only one event should be played per box.
If a player's active box moves off the top or bottom of the screen, that player must begin again at the start box.
The piece ends when all players have reached the stop box, have been stranded, or moved off-screen. Players become stranded when they are unable to move left or right, and after moving off-screen and returning to the start box are unable to move to the right.
Ryan Ross Smith, October 2011.
If you would like a copy of this animated score for performance, or have any questions about the animated notation used in this piece, feel free to get in touch! My contact information can be found here.