John Keston’s Music with Context

John Keston is a Minneapolis-based artist working with sound and electronic imagery. I found him through my conversations with Pramila Vasudevan and the Aniccha Arts team. John received his MFA in New Media from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) here’s the abstract of his master’s thesis. :

This paper explores the idea of mutable, audiovisual scores for improvised musical performances through the description of personal perspectives, practical examples, proposed projects, and research. The author postulates that an audiovisual score can be a useful tool to connect improvising musicians to each other and their audience through the insertion of a mediating audiovisual layer within the work. These systems are used as a primary influential agent for an ensemble of improvisers, providing them with a context for a musical conversation. In contrast to traditional notation and graphic scores, audiovisual scores embrace the chaotic ambiguities of environmental influences giving the music the context of unpredictable everyday events. Presenting an unpredictable audiovisual score parallels the indeterminate improvisation of the ensemble. It activates the last vestige of what remains immutable within traditional forms of notation driven performance inserting it into a mutable layer within the work.

He included this amazing Venn Diagram on his website, which really resonates with the mapping I’m trying to do:

John Keston's "Music with Context: Audiovisual Scores for Improvising Musicians"
John Keston’s “Music with Context: Audiovisual Scores for Improvising Musicians”