The Impossible Sound of Color.
I am fascinated by art and the various ways it is leveraged to communicate. Often times I find myself attempting to find the common strings between music and visual art. Both utilize elements of deep and shallow, high and low, light and shadow to weave us into a feeling or a series of feelings. I am unable to play a musical instrument at a level that could even remotely communicate anything outside of uncomfortable confusion or rudimentary self-fulfillment. This has left me with a creative void that systematically plucks at me. My primary desire to learn an instrument is based on the collaborative nature that music embraces. I truly love that about music. Beautiful musical expression can be created with the largest collection of classical musicians or in the lonely confines of prison. It is this inclusive collaborative nature that music embraces that visual art struggles to find a place within. Artists often collaborate on a single work or art, work collaboratively on a project and form art crews and show collectives but none of these forms of creatively connecting communicate forming a singular voice like music can. The only way I see this working effectively is if each artist involved were somehow able to become individual hairs in a single brush. With each stroke of this collaborative brush, each hair would be communicating with their own voice while manifesting a collective brush stroke. Since this is an impossibility (in this dimension) we are left to enjoy these art forms in the countless shapes that can form and leave the unformable to be enjoyed in our dreams. I think I’m ok with that.
Moving forward, fear not. There are countless parrallels that run between music and visual art. Take for instance the incredible sculptures and installations of Swedish-born Michael Johansson. While listening to Wynton Marsallis perform in Chapel Hill this Saturday I had a flash of comprehension that allowed me to see these sculptures as the visual embodiment of jazz music. Incredibly varied in content, inherently collaborative while holding surprising structure and form. I find myself asking the same questions when looking at Mr. Johanssons work that I ask myself when listening to Thelonious Monk, “How can something that is so wild and tame, familiar and peculiar, old and new, explosive and calming fit into such a beautiful box?”. It is one of those rare formations where visual art makes music and sounds so colorfully muted.
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