Saturday, September 17, 2011

Music: Meaning and Matching

From the get-go, one idea I have had about The Avenue of Trees project is that the colour patterning would have some relationship to music. I did not want to just hang up the squares in a rainbow transitioning pattern, although that is actually a lot harder to avoid that you might think. So, I set to looking for (and listening to) music that might be an inspiration.  Not so much like red squares = a C note, but more in creating a sense of flow that might be inspiring to colour pattern.

People who know me will know this is like me saying one day that I wish to fly and heading over to the nearest cliff to try my luck. It is just about as likely that I will fly as I will be able to work directly with music.  That is to say, I am an amusical person. I think I may have just invented that word but to me it is like being asexual....I just ain't got it in either direction. Those places in the brain where music happens...well, they dried up ages ago.   It is a very quiet place in that corner of the old noggin for me.

What better idea, then, to take up music in a very public way, not to mention a way that is highly abstract and complicated. Hey - if you are gonna play, play.

Not surprisingly I found myself coming up blank when I imagined what possible music I could use. It isn't like I have a repetoire or even a CD collection to draw upon. Plus, it felt like I needed to have a connection to this place, specifically. If I know little or nothing about music from a North American perspective, then my knowledge of Korean music is even less.  Yet, total ignorance has never stopped me before.

Off the cliff I plunged!

Here are some of the notes I took as I did some research:

Eric Satie....too sad and slow. Shall We Dance? (The official title of my project is The Avenue of Trees/Shall We Art?, which was decided upon by the organizing committee for the Biennale). NO! Korean classical music: Shin Kwe Dong, Chung Mori.  Classical fusion - Byul Ma Ru.  Sinawi - ritual music that originated in Cheongju.
Now we were getting somewhere!  Traditional music that had its roots in this very place.  Even better, there is an Australian drummer named Simon Barker, who has embraced traditional Korean music and brought it to international audiences.  The video above is his version of Sinawi.  Music that is specifically from Cheongju but with a twist by someone from away.

Yes.  I like it.


Maggie said...

I can't wait to hear more about how this music inspired your assemblage! I love to play with the senses verbally but not so good at tranlating auditory to visual etc. Great music by the way!

Jan Morrison said...

Like Maggie, I want to know the inspiration but I also want to know HOW you're going to incorporate it - if you are. I love this piece. I'm amusical too - I think maybe not amusical really, because, like you, I'm passionate about it. I just can't sing when that is all I really want to do. I think of it as musical aphasia.
On another note - I noticed you used the Canadian spelling of colour. yes.
Colour with a u has so much more colour.
OH - chagrin moment. I thought I mailed the squares or SP did but neither of us did. I will mail them and you can use them to make a tea cozy or start your next project. By the way - when are we going to wrap the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove? Just wondering....

dorinalouise said...

very cool! great flying!

Patti Blaine said...

When you first mentioned music in relationship to this project I thought of sending you a link to something someone did digitally to a Bach fugue, but... I'm glad I stayed my hand, so to speak. This is going to be amazing. You don't need to *know* music to have a valid response to it.

Robyn said...

The music will ultimately be incorporated into a video I am making about the piece...if I can get permission to use it. I haven't asked yet. For the moment, it is giving me a structure to work with in terms of colour changes (if that makes any sense). I don't know if anyone besides me be able to recognize the connection.

Patti, I think I saw that digital/Bach came across my computer world while this idea was in my head so I watched was really interesting! But, yes, I don't see this as being quite so 1:1, if you know what I mean.

Robyn said...

Jan - you remembered about Peggy's Cove!! I may be taking a vow to stop making huge knit installations, so I dunno.....

Robyn said...

Jan again, I forgot to say, YES! Please do mail your squares because I am pretty certain that they whole lot of them will be shown at some point in New Haven, CT. And, I hope, elsewhere!