dear sol… (3 part variations + 1)

7" record with hand drawn cover
edition of 1
(sound sample is an excerpt)

in 2011, i was invited to participate in an exhibition called “an exchange with sol lewitt”, which was exhibited at the cabinet space in brooklyn and mass moca. the idea came about because lewitt was known to have traded works with a lot of different artists. the show was essentially an homage to lewitt’s person and work, but also a way to converse with the artist’s ideas/works.

my piece consisted of a unique 7″ record containing a sound recording of a piece using lewitt’s 1974 drawing: “3 part variations” as a score. the record sleeve consisted of the following hand written text, covering the front and back of the sleeve:

dear sol,
i made you a record… i hope you like it. i used your drawing “3 part variations” to determine a score for myself towards the making of music.

i began by mapping the 3 small drawings onto a guitar neck – using the 4 points in each drawing to determine musical notes. i also used the small fractions found in the drawing: 3/1, 3/2, 3/3 to determine the lengths of each part.

this worked for the recording, but when i started to mix the piece it felt too rigid for me (and i hope you won’t be offended if i tell you i don’t really share your penchant for ruled lines, as my own work relates more to those wavy lines of your later works…), so i discarded the fractions.

after i recorded the guitar (using a volume pedal so the sound wasn’t too dynamic), i tried to follow the notes with my voice. sometimes i hit them, and sometimes i didn’t, so i kept the hits and deleted the misses, as i wanted to use only the first pass. please don’t worry about how melancholy this sounds… as i tend to make music that sounds this way regardless of  how i’m feeling. i loved transposing a drawing that was made to determine a sculpture to suggest moves in the process of making music. so thank you for making that drawing, even if you never expected anyone to use it as a score.

i hope you find some resonance in the result.