Friday, January 12, 2007

Art & Music

I wonder if all artists listen to music while painting? I suppose some might like quiet, but I prefer music and it really varies a lot what I choose. Sometimes I just leave it on a sort of "mix" radio station but rapidly tire of commercials. We have a really great NPR here - - and the morning host, John Aiely, (whose name I am sure I just butchered) plays a really ecclectic mix and frequently has sort of themed days. Say its summer and we've had a rain finally, he can find some of the most interesting and strange references to rain and play them.
Some music/songwriters create works that bring to mind all kinds of imagery. My current favorite is a new CD I just got by KT Tunstall - the one with "Big Black Horse and the Cherry Tree". Now that title alone brings forth some great images. I find that most of the music I like creates a great deal of visiual imagery and tells stories. I am an avid reader and a wanna-be author and enjoy being transported into other places. And I think that is why my latest works are so frequently of the perfect sort of reading nooks. Could be a latent desire to escape from a pretty hectic life, too, but we'll leave that to the psychologists out there to figure. Maybe someone who will write an essay on my life when I am dead (something I absolutely forbid btw). But who can resist a quiet corner to sit and catch their breath?
Last night in bed I was listening to my headphones to the classical station and they played Rachmaninoff's piano concerto #3. Needless to say, it took me an hour to calm down. Its an absolutely incredible piece and I have had days where its on in the studio and my brush is nearly out of control gesturing along with the cresendos and rapidly changing tempos. Other things often heard in my studio: Jamie Cullen, Mark Knopfler, The Blue Nile, John Scofield, any classic jazz, The Waterboys, WinterHours, Bowie, Sarah McLachlan, Joni Mitchell, Schumann, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, etc. etc.
Other selections might include the Backyardigans if my daughter is keeping me company.


lynn nash said...

Nice to hear what other artists listen to while they paint. You remind me that I need to get back to some classical music! My mix is very eclectic too, and NPR my favorite station. Lately I've been into Celtic a bit. I do believe listening to music truly facilitates painting, and it helps me to focus. Love your work!

Don said...

Art and Music...When I paint, I generally listen to something, classical is in the mix, but I bounce around. I've uploaded a bunch of cds to my laptop and just set it to random play. Among the choices would be Chee-Yun, Diana Krall, Paul Simon, Tigres del Norte, Sylvia McNair, the Hilliard Ensemble, Eric Clapton, along with soundtracks from Il Postino, Monsoon Wedding, and others.

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