Thomas Parker Williams, “Rhythm Grid”
Artist: Thomas Parker Williams (Philadelphia, PA)
Title: Rhythm Grid (2013)
Medium/technique(s): 16 panels, reduction linocut prints (18 colors total), with “L” type wire binding. (Panels extend to 40″) Booklet with musical score, panel legends and music CD composed, perfomed, and recorded by the artist. Enclosed in a linocut-printed, Tyvek-bound box with clear acrylic window
Edition size: 25
Number of pages: 8 double sided panels with 9 page booklet and music CD
Dimensions, open: 5 inch square panels extend to 40 inches
Dimensions, closed: 6″ x 6″ x 1-1/4″
Rhythm Grid began as an idea for a musical composition featuring only percussion and flute. The idea centered around creating written drum parts using a grid of 16 numbers and simple mathematical formulas. The numbers 1,2,3 and 4 were arranged in a grid with the vertical columns designated a,b,c and d. The seven formulas, in the chart next to the grid, were used to create the seven percussion parts in the Electronic Drum Kit and the Acoustic Drum Set using the numerical values of the horizontal rows corresponding to the letters of the vertical columns. These formulas were used four times to create the four measures shown in the musical transcription.
The Electronic Drum Kit and the Acoustic Drum Set use the same rhythm pattern. The music, based on 4/4 time with eight beats per measure, was written out and first programmed into a drum synthesizer. Then the Acoustic Drum Set was played and recorded by microphones.
The four measures were arranged as shown on the Score to create a 64 bar sequence that was repeated four times for a 256 bar composition. Additional acoustic percussion, noted on the Score, and flute were improvised in real time over the full composition.
This booklet contains a music CD of the complete composition performed and recorded by the artist.
The panels are a direct visual interpretation of the rhythm pattern of the measures with overprinted symbols for the improvised instruments. The eight double-sided panels are hinged with an “L” shaped wire binding method that allows the panels to be read as a codex or arranged in many other forms.