Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Schumann's Scenes from Childhood in Five Lines - 1

In this next phase of interpreting music and imagining visuals, I have chosen to work with 5 lines, reflecting the musical staff. 

1. About Strange Lands and People (Von fremden Ländern und Menschen)

(To listen to the 'Scenes', look up Horowitz plays Schumann Kinderzenen Scenes from Childhood on youtube)

Friday, 6 June 2014

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Music in Colours and Shapes - 1

One approach to thinking visually about the 'Scenes from Childhood' is that after listening, I tried to decide what colour(s) and shapes I heard. These are not belaboured. I give you 1, 2, 3, and 4: 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Question of Seeing and Hearing

I have been asked to do an art project that can be viewed during a piano performance of Robert Schumann's 'Scenes From Childhood'. I am interested in this in a number of ways which revolve around the question: how much can the senses take in simultaneously? I was at a concert in an ornate church with a screen of activity augmenting the musical performance.

I had to shut my eyes in order to hear the music, however fascinating it was to watch the ever-changing movement on the screen. I will add that the visuals were abstract uses of colour. What difference would it have made if the visuals were, at least in part, representational?  Would the experience have been less overwhelming if there was less movement and change? 

The venue where my art will be paired with music is not as visually distracting as the ornate church. Does that give me a broader range for what I make?

The 'Scenes' are short. It takes about 17 minutes to play 13 pieces. I have pretty much decided that I will make 13 smallish pieces rather than one big one. That means that the audience will have a minute, give-or-take a few seconds, to look at/study each projected piece. If I were to make little progressive 'movies' as I create each piece, would that be distracting rather than enhancing of the performance? How much can a person process in a minute? 

I have found piano concerts -- particularly in bland, semi-dark rooms -- productive for my visual imagination. This opportunity is a welcome excuse to delve into that visually responsive place. I have been playing with ideas for some weeks now. I am feeling on the cusp of making commitments to some of those ideas and springing into action.