This weekend I went to a concert by the Utah Symphony. The orchestra and conductor debuted a piece by the American composer Augusta Read Thomas. Leaving aside criticism of the piece itself, I was drawn to this drawing by the composer, a copy of which was posted in the concert hall:
I tend to dislike it when an artist tells you exactly what each element of their work "means," but this chart seems abstract enough to me not to deprive audience members of experiencing the piece on their own terms.
Physically writing her music is an important part of Thomas' process. I like how she describes her drawing tools here:
Thomas introduced her piece as something "with a lot of color shifts," which her diagram visually reflects. The color in the chart reminds me of Wassily Kandinsky, a synesthete who dithered between devoting his life to visual art or playing the cello. He titled his paintings "composition [#]" as if they were pieces of music. Although they're oil paintings, some of his compositions feel more like drawings than paintings.