33 Musicians and Composers Interpret 32 Diverse Works by Minnesota Artists
McNALLY SMITH COLLEGE OF MUSIC’S “ART-INSPIRED MUSIC PROJECT – SECOND EDITION” - OPENING FEBRUARY 24 THROUGH APRIL 30, 2015, ST. PAUL
You can thank the 20th century French Impressionist composer Claude Debussy ("Clair de Lune") for motivating the creation of the "Art-Inspired Music Project - Second Edition," opening February 24 and running through April 30 in the lobby of McNally Smith College of Music (19 Exchange Street East, St. Paul 55101, www.mcnallysmith.edu).
Upon attending an exhibition on Debussy at the Musée de 'Orangerie (Paris) in 2012, curator William G. Franklin was so moved by the composer’s grasp of the power of visual arts on music that he wrote an essay focused on the French composer's use of The Great Wave by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. From the program notes of the gallery show, Franklin learned Debussy asked his publisher to put the image on the cover of the score of his masterpiece, "The Sea." Afterward, Debussy declared his love for the visual arts, stating, “Moi qui aime les images presque autant que la musique.” (“I love pictures almost as much as I love music.”)
In a rare collaborative display of music and art, this multi-media installation at McNally Smith features 33 students, faculty, staff, and alumni musically interpreting 32 visual works by Minnesota artists - ranging from painting and sculpture, to architecture, glass pieces, and video. Contributors include well-known artists like painter Ta-coumba Aiken, mixed-media artist Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, and animator and filmmaker Tom Schroeder. Visitors can listen to the new musical compositions on headphones, while viewing the physical artwork that inspired them.
The public is invited to the opening reception of the “Art-Inspired Music Project – Second Edition,” on February 24 at 7:30 p.m. Regular gallery hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibition is paired with free satellite lectures in March and April, focusing on the impact music and art have on each other.
"This project is one of many initiatives directed by the College's Liberal Arts Department to inspire creative thinking," says Franklin. "There is increasing interest in the arts and the Twin Cities arts scene, and we wanted to leverage that interest for the public - but also spur some interdisciplinary thought among participating musicians and artists."
The “Art-Inspired Music Project - Second Edition,” is sponsored by the American Composers Forum (ACF), the Minnesota Museum of American Art (MMAA) "Project Space," the American Swedish Institute, and Union Depot. The Project is curated by William G. Franklin, a member of McNally Smith’s Liberal Arts faculty, and Curatorial Assistant and artist Elizabeth Black.