Monday, January 6, 2014

In the Polar Vortex

The local area is cooling down rapidly, the polar vortex is upon us.  I just found this photo online depicting the vortex and the lover of abstract art in me was moved.  But the artist is Mother Nature, the creator of all abstractions.  The past few days have found me looking at two photos taken by Sid Smith of the windows of his home with rain streaks on them.  Sid posted up a set of 20 String Quartets in his blog The Yellow Room.  Each quartet contains 4 photos and serve as graphic scores for musicians to work with.  I was intrigued by this and have taken on Movements III and IV in SQ IV.

After the commitment was made I found myself in a bit of a vortex with how to interpret these photos.  Part of the vortex of feelings that arose was due to the public nature of this collaboration.  Part was how to limit my options.  In questioning Sid about how to proceed, in a very crafty fashion he said "It's anything you want it to be.  Should I fire up the rack with it's aging synths and effects and return to FingerPaint explorations?  Or maybe find multiple lines for a quartet of guitars?  Too many possibilities and the choice was mine.  Of course the options available on the six strings of an acoustic guitar alone  is always overwhelming.  So I look and play and look and wonder.  What do I hear when I look at photos with their beauty that has grown on me these past few days. 

And then the first notes are found.  I trust that inner part nod in assent to where these notes might lead. Slowly  Movement III has revealed a piece with a working title of  Enclosing.  Movement IV is whispering.  Something about "shadows" seems to be hidden within the subtle color of the photo.   Time will tell. 

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