Music Mutes Photos Trombone



Last weekend, Erin Lesser, Matt Marks and I played for Art Trek Plus at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Our participation was part of Alarm Will Sound’s residency at the museum. For Art Trek we performed works for children, ages 5-12, and spoke about their relationship with visual art. The presentation also included an interactive activity: the participants improvised sounds with Matt, drew landscapes with Erin and created their own abstract works with me.

I performed Scelsi’s Tre Pezzi, not something someone would traditionally perform for that age group. I ran it by my daughter beforehand, figuring if a three year-old could handle it this group should be OK. It went over well at home and at the museum. I performed in Gallery 911 in front of two works by Burgoyne Diller, one in gray, the other in black and white and punctuated with primary colors; both using, primarily, rectangles to create form on the square canvas.

I related the simplicity in the gray scale piece to the first part of the Scelsi: the music gains its shape from the repetition of an A flat (and eventual explosion to an E flat), the painting’s form comes from repeated rectangles. I related the second part of the Scelsi to the other work by Diller. There’s still repetition in the music (this time centered around an A) but in a more dramatic fashion and with the added “color” of the mute. The relation to the Diller is not one-to-one but there are still some similarities. For the final part of the Scelsi we had the participants create their own image. Most everyone took theirs with them, though I did find this one left behind: