‘An Introduction to the Eye Music Series’ by Joe Scarffe

ISBN 978 1 910010 32 7
24pp, 205 x 210
pamphlet, 2014
Distributed by Uniformbooks

The ‘Eye Music’ series of watercolour, collage and paperpulp reliefs are inspired by the idea of graphic musical notation. Janet Boulton has combined observations of a still life installed in a window (comprising five plate glass shelves and rows of jam jars) with the forms of musical notation used in early medieval plainchant. In a process of deconstruction and re-invention, with music strongly in mind, she has made images which are intended to be seen independently as well as being a source of musical inspiration. Although there are no specifications for instruments or interpretation she became increasingly conscious whilst making the pictures of the spacial and tonal potential of sound.

Janet Boulton refers to her collection as ‘Eye Music’, but it is important to recognise that she is using the term in a special way. Technically speaking Augenmusic (eye music) is the “practice of utilising graphics to embellish staff notation, with a largely graphic or typographic function, in order to reinforce the affective meaning of the music”. Boulton, on the other hand, is using the term to describe the visual impact of the works and the significance of their autonomy.—Joe Scarffe