Futility Closet book ad

World Music

In 2008 James Plakovic spent six weeks composing this score for 37 instruments — woodwinds, pianos, brass, and strings. “Every land mass has been transformed into musical notation,” he says. “A note, a rest, a slur, some musical expression mark such as forte or pianissimo, so that the end result, when you step back from the image itself, is that you see land. You see a part of the world.”

“The music is very busy,” he admits. “There are some spots that are flowing and harmonious, and there are definitely areas that are a bit brash and discordant. And that reflects how the world is.”