Visual Music

September Composition 2013

September Composition 2013

The first of two created in September and October of 2013.

Seven rectangles make up the above work;These rectangles in turn create the levels or depths of the digital painting.The rectangle in the lower right is the key for the digital painting: it sets the color chords and the pattern of the shapes.

Each rectangle is organized using the bipartite method. The method is a means of describing the implied, energy lines embedded in the rectangle.

The basic principle used here is that the eye seeks out similarity in color, pattern, and shape. The viewer’s eye will of its own accord move to and from complete and incomplete versions of the key pattern found in the various rectangles; focusing on any one position of an element within that pattern moves the eye to its counterpart in the other rectangles. The same is true of the movement of color from rectangle to rectangle.

Finally, I used the empty energy loci within the larger implied rectangle to create a second movement to play against the first pattern.

October Composition 2013

October Composition 2013

The Second Composition

The principles used in the first painting apply to this one as well. I made three major changes: first I introduced a diagonal movement in each rectangle – other than the key – moving from the quarter point on the left side to the lower third point on the right; second, I removed the rectangle bounds and let the eye apprehend the rectangles; and third, I created another movement joining the key pattern and the diagonal pattern by darkening a glyph within each pattern.

Three Chord Ode Version II II

Digital Composition
October 2012

I began doing digital compositions as a way to make quick compositional and color decisions: Photoshop enables the artist to make rapid decisions over a few minutes that might take days or weeks when done in paint. I began doing compositions of arranged abstract elements put together to create a meaningful composition.
Beginning in 2008, I was inspired by two musical references: the first was an off hand remark by some commentator that a renowned composer had recommended to the composer of “Porgie and Bess” the use of the diminished fifth; the second was listening to Leonard Cohen’s song, “Hallelujah” wherein he sings of “the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, and the major lift” (up to now, I thought that was “the fourth, the fifth, the minor fourth, the major fifth”; so my compositions were worked out accordingly).
I continued my experiments in composition and rhythm but now included using the color triangle to realize what I thought corresponded to Cohen’s musical reference. I began doing research on the musical chords using the piano keyboard as a guide. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to ask a rocker musician, friend Tom Chaffee about the color chords. He quickly drew a circle and laid out the twelve chords around it. This was major revelation for me; I had never seen them laid out in this manner.
Tom explained how a musician might decide to play with the intervals between the notes to arrive at unique styles. I took this chart home and superimposed the color over the notes:
One can come up with a different layout, but I was interested in relationships and intervals.
After creating this color/chord wheel, I decided to experiment using my favorite country singer Emmylou Harris: I was curious about her statement about “singing the three chord blues” from her song “The Road.” I then located on line lyrics to a few of her songs and noted the chord changes and experimented with corresponding color changes.
Below: my most recent piece: