The Art of Making Art: Visual Arts Inspire Musical Arts for New Music Ensemble Concert

Photo submitted

From left to right: Rebecca Allan, “Vernal Pool, Ferns” (2009); Georgia O’Keeffe, “Radiator Building” (1924); Jackson Pollock, “No. 5” (1948)

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – The Arkansas New Music Ensemble will open its fall concert series with “Brush Strokes and Music Notes” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 16 in the Stella Boyle Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center. The concert will present three works inspired by visual art: Laura Kamisky’s composition, horizon lines, Ladder to the Moon, by Michael Daugherty and Matthew Tommasini Torn webs. The public is invited and admission is free.

The concert will begin with horizon lines featuring faculty members Theresa Delaplain, oboe teacher, and Lia Uribe, assistant bassoon teacher, and Miloslava Panayotova, piano teacher. A film highlighting the work of Rebecca Allan will accompany the play.

Allan described his work as “rooted in the changing cycles of nature as well as a deep curiosity for science and the forces underlying what we observe on the surface of things”. The New York-based artist’s work has focused on exploring the natural world of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest and Gulf Coast.

Inspired by American artist Georgia O’Keeffe, The ladder to the moon is a work for solo violin, wind octet, double bass and percussion. Er-Gene Kahng, associate violin teacher, will be featured in this performance.

O’Keeffe, recognized as the mother of the American modernist movement, traveled the United States in search of inspiration. From New York to New Mexico, O’Keeffe sought to depict the starkest realities of the human condition using a style all his own. The performance will include Saxton Esposito, a senior in the art department, who will paint while the ensemble performs Daugherty’s composition.

“One of the goals of the New Music Ensemble is to showcase our tremendous music faculty here at the university,” said Ensemble Director Jamal Duncan. “horizon lines and The ladder to the moon to offer the public as well as our students the opportunity to hear these leading artists. For ensemble students, it becomes an incredibly special opportunity to see how a master performer works in rehearsal and performance.”

The concert will end with Torn webs. Strongly influenced by the Abstract Expressionist movement, Tommasini’s composition draws much of its style from Jackson Pollock. Pollock’s unconventional method of drip painting ensured that any piece he produced was indelibly his.

Often referred to as “action painting”, the style produces images through the kinetic movements of the human body rather than methodical, deliberate brushstrokes. The result was often frenetic and messy, but was imbued with something much closer to human essence. This fragmented method finds an echo in the divided instrumentation of Torn webswhich, like Pollock’s paintings, form something greater than the sum of its parts.