What dance can be danced in the Big House? What music can be made against its furniture and walls? We have provided our performers with 200 (text and graphic) scores related to these questions. Below are performances of music and actions linked to the rooms of the Big House.


The visual vocabulary is based on the writings of Nigerian secret societies, early European music notation systems and contemporary architectural iconography. Each formula is performed in 4 different rooms using three sound categories: room specific household objects (ie: a sink or blender), the performer’s musical instrument of choice, and vocal utterances.

Graphic Score, Page 9:

There are twenty-five pages of graphic scores (GS) which are interpreted in four variations, with each variation occurring in one room of a house of the performers' choosing. The performances below are presented by variation.


Each of the text scores invites the performers to reflect on the social relations of slavery in living spaces by engaging with the rooms and materials of the big house. The actions called for in the scores range from simple gestures like wrapping your head with two yards of cloth to tasks that dance on the edges of possibility, such as building a time machine and dreaming of freedom. The performances of text scores (TS) are presented by room (The Master Bedroom, The Office, The Kitchen, The Dining Room, The Wash House, The Guest House, The Parlor, The Nursery, The Library, and The Porch).

#11 Make a list of all your ancestors in a checkbook register. (The Office)

#21 Make glass of iced tea. Use tealeaves, water, honey, and spit. (The Kitchen)

#31 Using forks, knives, and plates, spell out your surname on a table. (The Dining Room)

#50 Acquire a slavery era disclosure document from a corporation that has profited from slavery. Dip it into sudsy water and wash away the history. (The Wash House)

#86 Lay your head on a book of hymns. Keep it there until you drift off to sleep. Dream of freedom. (The Library)

#93 Stand at the edge of a driveway holding a lantern. Wait for Mr. Washington. (The Porch)