Oliver Sacks Musicophilia:
“musicians dream of music more than twice as much as non-musicians [and] musical dream frequency is related to the age of commencement of musical instruction…Nearly half of all recalled music was non-standard, suggesting that original music can be created in dreams”
Fascinating isn’t it. See I dream in music, at least two mornings a week I wake up with a song in my head, sometimes something I’ve never heard…
Now the reason I bring this up is my most recent solo exhibition, which opens very soon, comes from a much darker place than my normal work. These however, are the darkest and most united group of paintings I have produced to date. And music plays an integral part of my art practice – with many hours alone, it literally can drive me or break me. The lyrics are always interesting, and sometimes pertinent – but after a few repeats tend to blur in and out of shape, or poke me straight in the chest.
This exhibition drew on every ounce of energy and concentration that I had, and there were a handful of songs which were on repeat for hours and h o u r s – they then became the names of paintings. They are both deeply personal and moving to me – they might not serve as the best soundtrack to open the paintings to you – but they are what got me through creating them. They start dark but as we go along you will see they get lighter, there is always hope in my paintings – even if it’s the smallest glimmer of light… From underneath a cardboard box…There is always hope. But right now this is raw and vulnerable.
There are 3 ways of listening to the music associated with the paintings. if too hard, enjoy the paintings as this is their first preview!
1. Youtube- Use a computer (possibly easiest way) click on a painting below and the song and full playlist will open in a new window. Once the window is open you can just click next or close it and click on the next painting.
2. Soundcloud – Free and easy. Press play and then scroll back up to switch.
3. Spotify – Press play (the paid version of Spotify works best The free version is frustrating if you try and do anything other than let it play) … Then navigate back here 🙂
Summertime, and not just any version but Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – This painting has more to the title as it is a little more complicated “Summertime Last Hyland Tea”. A song both beautiful and sad.
I cannot imagine how many times I have heard this song on repeat “George Maple – Fixed” It is such a dense, and large painting, the Bass was needed to push through. ( Funny story first few hundred repeats I thought George was some unknown crooner like Cee Lo Green before he became famous – but with a phenomenal androgynous voice – I was a little suprised to find out years later she is a Sydney talent with some amazing great new songs – Perception is Reality). This song is always a pusher, and I love the clip where the two enormous Earths keep closing in on each other but never touch, great stuff.
“Go” by Grimes. Even just for the opening few lines on the Youtube version…
“Under Stars” by Aurora. This is a very dynamic song in many ways. Another of Aurora’s songs was more pertinent but the title “murder song” maybe not so (warning tear jerker with that on repeat).
“How Did I Get Here” by Odesza. A tad bit on the obvious side, but hey I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to be deep.
“I Want To Be Alone – Jackson C Frank” which played a few more times than “I wish I was alone” by another great Australian band The Grates. Unfortunately not on YouTube
The title for the actual painting is a littler denser too “Ping, ping, ping, ping, ping ping, I want to be Alone” This is a massive painting at 2 meters wide it’s a little hard to get the feel of it not in person. Again, don’t miss the bright side, that orange is like heat.
“Giving up the Ghost” by Dj Shadow. And with this peace begins to return – slowly to the bright side. (note these last two paintings are being errr FINISHED still )
And where all darkness is, there must be light to cast it. And something that brought me much light is listening to this record with my brother and my dad when I was young – on repeat, everything is on repeat.
“You can’t always get what you want” by The Rolling Stones
Lastly – “Open Eye Signal” by Jon Hopkins. Singly the most repeated track I have ever listened too. When I paint, and when I need to forget and focus this is what I put on. Again and again and… And I am gone, in the zone, paint flows and I feel like I’m in a trance. To me this song is inexhaustible. This track blankets the paintings as at some point i guarantee it was used to pick me up and get me focused. It also has a great film clip that seems like something I would paint,
My painting show opens on July 11th at 2pm in Gallery Smith’s Project Space 170 Abbotsford St, North Melbourne. I hope to see you there.The paintings are much more impressive in person.
Click HERE to be taken to the facebook version of the invite
And if you found the music interesting you may enjoy the extended playlist on youtube which I will update with a few more songs in time. One which is a gold track by Lapalux…