greenwork and harmony lessons
I was thrilled when my friends at the TMA asked me to contribute my "perspective" on this work as part of their extended 2017 exhibition. Here's what I wrote to accompany this digital image by a visionary Australian artist:
The American composer John Adams (b. 1947) has said the opening of his 1985 symphony, Harmonielehre (“Harmony Lesson”) came from a dream. A single e-minor chord, “discharged like cannon fire” and repeated some 40 times was inspired by the image of a tanker lifting out of the San Francisco Bay and launching “like a rocket.” Like greenwork, where variations on the singular, striking central color suffuse the landscape, the rhythm, voicing, and texture of Harmonielehre spread out across a vast sonic space. “Stasis in motion” or “movement through stillness” describes both Laing’s monolithic “aerial wall” and the dream-picture Adams painted in his landmark orchestral canvas. When I look at Laing’s visionary manipulation of color and space I hear the brilliant shaping of a single chord in Harmonielehre. [Click on the title's link to listen to its opening]
Please join me Sunday, April 7 at 2 pm at the Taubman Museum for another free adventure in music, poetry and art!
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