Hearing the Unhearable

Ghost Notes


"Ghost Notes", photograph on waxed washi paper, straight pins, photograph on rag paper

Ghost Notes”, 22.5″ x 22.5″, pho­to­graph on waxed washi paper, straight pins, pho­to­graph on rag paper


In this new series Ghost Notes I con­tin­ue to uti­lize mate­ri­als, lay­ers, tex­ture and the mark of my hand to fur­ther the sto­ry of the pho­to­graph. How­ev­er, instead of the solid­i­ty of the steel in my Mile Mark­er series, I am uti­liz­ing the whis­per like qual­i­ty of waxed washi paper to sus­pend time by eschew­ing detail and con­text, cre­at­ing a veiled place­hold­er to con­tain our mem­o­ries. In music, ghost notes are notes that are played but not meant to be heard, there­by giv­ing ampli­fi­ca­tion to the oth­ers around it.

From Wikipedia:, “Ghost notes, how­ev­er, are not sim­ply the unac­cent­ed notes in a pat­tern. The unac­cent­ed notes in such a pat­tern as a clave are con­sid­ered to rep­re­sent the mean lev­el of emphasis—they are nei­ther absolute­ly empha­sized nor unem­pha­sized. If one fur­ther deem­pha­sizes one of these unac­cent­ed notes to the same or a sim­i­lar extent to which the accent­ed notes in the pat­tern are empha­sized, then one has ‘ghost­ed’ that note. In a case in which a ghost note is deem­pha­sized to the point of silence, that note then rep­re­sents a rhyth­mic place­hold­er in much the same way as does a rest. This can be a very fine dis­tinc­tion, and the abil­i­ty of an instru­men­tal­ist to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between what is a ghost note and what is a rest is gov­erned large­ly by the acoustic nature of the instru­ment.”

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