Oroville Winter Storm

Oroville Winter Storm

The winter storm takes many forms. Blinding blizzard of snow. Freezing water born on howling wind. Barren branches, helpless victims, sway precariously, threaten to break, and oftimes do. Wind and freezing rain is the likely scenario for the Oroville, California winter storm which inspires this treated photograph by artist Jerry Langell. But Langell’s storm is about more than a winter confluence of natural elements. It is about a sense of ghostly possession, of death’s seasonal reign, a palpable charge of negative, repellant energy. It is a hostile spirit taking over trees, all of nature, so vulnerable without foliage or the nurture of sunshine. Composer Laszlo Benko highlites in his audio track a unique energy which we can associate with the storm. It is perhaps more positive than we might expect in mood. The wasp buzz effect speaks of a energetic charge that seems to saturate the mist. His pentatonic phrases might suggest a more remote location for our enchanted tree, or perhaps we are invited to ponder this wonder of nature from an Eastern, more contemplative perspective. The current project is an entry in the 2016 Midisparks Winter Composers Contest. The theme of the contest is abstraction in nature, and particularly in Winter. We invite you to cast your vote for Oroville Winter Storm. Prints of the artwork are available in the Yessy Gallery and we invite you also to visit at the Yessy site by clicking on the ‘Shop’...
Wet Ice Veneer

Wet Ice Veneer

Do you remember the old movie classic, ‘Sunset Boulevard’, in which a crazed Gloria Swanson, under arrest for the murder of her young lover, faces the TV cameras and says, “I’m ready for my closeup, Mr. Demille.”? Hollywood closeups undoubtedly call for some extra attention to makeup and some mental preparation as well. Nature, on the other hand, seems eternally ready to reveal her intimate wonders to the creative zoom lens. That revelation is often a level of structural detail which transcends itself. In closeup, the natural subject often morphs into something abstract, expressing qualities quite apart from itself. John Terwilliger’s closeup of wet ice suggests, perhaps, some microbial system examined under the microscope. If we let our eyes cross, to becomes one of those cool ‘Magic Eye’ designs that reveal depth, third dimension, hidden forms. We can lose ourselves in this maze of black paths surrounded , dominated, by snow covered mountains. And then, if we have not driven ourselves completely to distraction, we return to the surface of the photograph with a profound sense of wonder at what lies in Nature’s store. Music for the morphing image should itself have some quality of metamorphosis. This might be expressed in the unexpected evolution of a sound, or perhaps in the unexpected development of a secondary motive. It will be interesting to hear what our contest composer concieves. Terwilliger’s closeup of wet ice is an entry in the Midisparks Winter Composer’s Contest, also known as the “Watch & Listen Art Print Giveaway”. Vote your favorite art and win a chance for a free art print of our our featured...
Upwelling of Melted Ice

Upwelling of Melted Ice

How do you spell amoeba? It seems the right first question here. For the upwelling of melted ice has the amorphous characteristic of the single-celled blobs typcially found beneath the ocean. And truly, without the title’s clue, we might not be making any associations with ice at all. The extreme closup conceals the subject of a gaping, jagged hole formed by melting ice in an otherwise frozen surface. Closeups in nature often succeed in abstracting the subjects and such is the case here. Beyond Burt’s artistic meanderings on conventional and not-so-conventional guitars (including cigar-box guitars), his creativity frequently extends into the realm of natural sound effects. His introduction here of wintry wind and bubbling waters is not in your face, but subtle, well integrated into the mix and the feeling of his laid back and reflective track. Nevertheless, it solidifies the connection of the audio with the visual image, rooted in assumptions of cold climate along with some progression between solid and liquid states – melted...
Eros and Psyche Abstract

Eros and Psyche Abstract

What possible relationship can we find between the abstract art and audio of Elize Kaisser and the story of Eros and Psyche? Musical commentary on painting generally offers narrative, or ambience, historical or cultural reference, or literal sound effects. In the case of abstract art, the music often expresses the composer’s emotional response to the painting. Elements in the myth narrative of jealousy, desire, hiddenness and subterfuge seem to imply dark colors and a brooding emotional quality for the artist/composer. To sum up the myth: Eros was the son of Aphrodite. His Roman, and more familiar name, was Cupid. Psyche was a mortal princess who was so stunning the people of Greece began comparing her beauty to the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Aphrodite became jealous of this so she sent her son, Eros, to shoot her with one of her arrows while she slept and place a foul creature in front of her to fall in love with when she woke. Eros could not bring himself to do this but accidentally scratched himself with an arrow and in turn fell in love with Psyche. Eros then steals Psyche away to a palace, but does not reveal himself to Psyche and only is in her presence in the total darkness of night. Psyche is happy for a time until her sisters visit and persuade her to light a lamp while her lover is around so that she may see his face. Eros leaves her after this and after many trials Psyche goes on a quest to please Eros’ mother Aphrodite. After completing the task Psyche is granted immortality and allowed...
Teranova 3

Teranova 3

Teranova means New Earth. Your blogger’s narrative for this painting, however, is about the onset of deep sleep. Perhaps it is Teranova in the sense of sleep’s gift of renewal. The circle of blue is the thoughts which accompany us as we lay down to sleep. They swirl around gently, slowing and slowing as we sooth ourselves in bed with prayers of gratitude, thoughts of forgiveness for self and others. In the painting, lines of blue and purple push upward and leftward against this swirling circle of thought. Like hormonal secretions of melatonin, these lines push against consciousness, against pain, and into a cottony bed of oblivion, like the white cottony section of Danijela’s canvas. Danijela herself offers an alternative explanation: “When you meditate in relation with the earth you become different, but the earth is changing also-through meditation becomes a new earth and a new man…Blue is the color of spiritual and red color symbolizes the remnants of the material.” It seems the dream of sleep corresponds to the artists notion of meditation. Both can be catalysts for change, as they reveal insights from a deeper consciousness. It is fitting that the red, the remnant, exists in the bottom right of the canvas. With the artist’s words, we see evolution, even directional flow in the painting. From the material, the red patches, we transition to lines of purple (towards the spiritual) and then into the full spirituality and revelation of the blue. Danijela also contributes the project’s audio component. Succumb to trance. Breathe the air. Feel the energy. Let go of the material, of the painting’s red. Make...
Teranova 1

Teranova 1

Serbian artist Danijela Jovic paints a dense cluster of colorful, tubelike strands. There appears to be some struggle, some striving. Individual strands have emerged. They assert themselves, reaching upwards to connect with sisters above. Danijela’s abstract speaks to the process of creation, an evolution from chaos to order. Perhaps the assertive tubes reach not to sisters above, but to a physical manifestation of their Creator. What is this dense cluster? We might imagine purple sea urchins clustered about a golden yellow formation of kelp. We might imagine a cluster of dahlia tubers resting upon a seabed. The nature of the tuber might be instructive to our understanding of the painting. Tubers are enlarged structures in some plant species used as storage organs for nutrients. They are used for the plant’s perennation (survival of the winter or dry months), to provide energy and nutrients for regrowth during the next growing season, and as a means of asexual reproduction (Rooting cuttings of tropical trees, London: Commonwealth Science Council, 1993, p. 11, ISBN 978-0-85092-394-0). Like tubers, Danijela’s otherworldly, tubelike strands contain the pent-up stuff of creation. They hold the raw material and potential for physical generation. The independence dance of the tuber cluster is underway! They stretch. They flex. They prepare for the hop and the drop. This seems to be the joyful message conveyed through appropriately alien sounding tones in the brilliant audio track by Urezy. The intonation of the strands is frightful and joyful simultaneously. It is somewhere between a lion’s growl and a buddhist monk’s chant. ‘Let us reach for the sky’ The music speaks of joyful competition. The...
New Earth IV

New Earth IV

Danijela’s abstract painting, rich in earth tones, roughly divides the canvas into three emotional areas. Left and lower edges feel foundational. The yellows and browns, if not serene, feel stable. Leaning into this southwest bed, a low grade turmoil of red and orange lines, black and brown swashes, and a bold blue swirl. This central bit of canvas is in process. Something grows, evolves from this mass of subtly competing shapes and colors, perhaps not for the good. And what of the great swash of white that possesses the northeast corner of the canvas and seems ready to inundate the rest of the painting like a relentless ocean wave? The mindhiest58 track might be understood (probably coincidentally) in terms of the painting’s segmentations. The rich bed of chorus, harpsichord and harps, on the one hand gently reflective, also foreshadows ensuing conflict. The anvil strikes. It is the “end of the dawn” (did I get this line right Roland?) Texture thickens. The battle drum strikes. The guns fire. We are in the thick of the conflict – the fomenting center of the abstract. It is most difficult to reconcile the audio narrative with the blogger’s notion of the painting’s third segment – the great white wave which seems poised to demolish all. In fact the musical track resolves back to the contemplative mood of the beginning and this suggests a different function for the northeast corner of the painting. It does not represent the final, ultimate aggression. Rather, it offers a cottony cushion which serves to absorb at least some of the central section’s tumultous energy. Or it is the...
The Lion

The Lion

If I were an abstract crouching lion, I would certainly want my supporting audio track to suggest either my roar, or my jungle, or both. At the very least, I would hope for a certain strength, a certain tension, a certain wildness. It would be an entirely different matter if the artist had not named the painting The Lion. If that were the case, interpretive options would likely multiply. Then perhaps the composer sees not a crouching lion but a Christmas tree, or a table in a French cafe, and musical decisions would run apace. But the fact is our artist named the painting. For some of us, at least, a deference to that specification of subject creates an imperative which guides creative choices. Therefore the audio does in fact include obligatory native grunts, a sort of abstract jungle ambience, and a sustained tension. The painting by Serbian artist and composer Danijela Jovik is ambiguous not only for its abstraction. If we do embrace the figurative premise of a lion, we must then wonder if the lion rests or prepares to pounce. The latter scenario seems more likely since the hind is elevated, the stomach raised, the head attentive. The audio however does not seem to weigh in on the question of the lion’s intentions. We are fortunate to be showing several abstract paintings by Danijela on the site. They are all included in the competition set for the Midisparks Winter Composers Contest. We hope you will keep up with the progress of the contest. Vote early. Vote often! We hope also you will consider purchasing a print. These...
Death Cycle

Death Cycle

I see the frontal shadow of a black motorcycle on the right bottom portion of the canvas. I imagine two scenarios in this bold, even violent abstract by Serbian artist and composer Danijela Jovic. On the one hand, motorcycle and rider have been squashed against a white wall. Oil and blood splatter. Or perhaps we tilt the entire viewpoint 90 degrees, such that motorcycle lies flat on the ground, front wheel turned upwards. The rider is off the canvas – likely unconscious on the ground. Blood and oil form streaks on white snow. The audio of Hugues Racine aka ‘Stale’ is hard hitting but extremely upbeat. Hugues shares that the track was written in memory of a friend who died in a motorcycle accident. The track is the biker’s celebration of freedom. Clearly the composer opted to celebrate his friend’s life in the track. But how to reconcile the harsh, violent brushstrokes of the painting. Or does the music lead you to a completely different response to the visual? The painting speaks of a wipeout. I see the black outline of a motorcycle in the lower right corner. It seems the rider slammed into a wall and the forward energy is conveyed in grotesque splashes of blood and oil against the white surface. It is a dramatic, if tragic ending to a life well-lived – a life which took freedom by the handlebars and rode it for all it was worth. And surely this is at least one connection we can make between Danijela’s painting and the celebratory rock track of Canadian rocker Hugues Racine. We learn from Hugues...
AbstractLovgreen

AbstractLovgreen

Composer and artist Elize Kaisser presents her green abstract, ‘AbstractLovgreen’. What is it about the paintings of composers that might be considered uniquely related to the fact of their being composers? Quite possibly nothing, but speculation on the question makes for a great blog post. A look at composer Elize Kaisser’s green abstract offers an opportunity to theorize on the question of uniqueness in the visual creations of musical composers. Elize chooses just a few colors for her digital painting – greens, browns, yellows. The green colors the general canvas in the same way that a synth pad frequently provides the general background or ambience in many tracks. And even as that synth pad subtly morphs, so do Elize’s greens morph into green-yellows and even green-blues. What about Elize’ brown bits then? The lines and patches of brown are applied to the canvas as a solo instrument over the foundational synth pad. And as a solo tells the musical story, creates the dramatic narrative, so these applications of brown seem in motion. They wave up and down. This sense of motion in Elize’ painting is subtle. The brown may not immediately suggest to us the energy of movement. But our artist is also our composer, and she gives us a little sonic push towards a livelier interpretation of the art. Her music is upbeat, even a little jazzy. It encourages us to look for the light in this painting. It encourages us to connect with active energy in the painting. We are happy to offer AbstractLovgreen as a 7″ X 5″ art photo print. Don’t forget that USA shipping...
RosepetaLs

RosepetaLs

“Beauty of Roses, when it lives, when it fades it is there in all its grace” Elize Kaisser Mars 3 . There is a different rose than the one you have seen, and of course I wanted to make it happen “it is white, like death and life it is red , of old colour, and alive while you touch its petals” Are the rosepetals of artist and composer Elize Kaisser red or white or yellow?  Of course in the expanded reality world of digital photography, they can be all of the above and more.  Expanded reality seems like a useful term because photographs are by definition rooted in the realistic.  More often than not, with colorized photos, our frame of reference continues to be the real subject.  In some of Elize’ treatments this proposition is perhaps a bit harder to defend.  In ‘RosepetaLs’ this is no need for defense at all.  The experience of the image shifts altogether to questiosn of colors and textures. Does the audio offer any clues about the artist’s decision to largely coat red roses with waxy yellows and whites?  Perhaps not.  The reflective tone of the gentle piano track serves mostly to hold us in our own reflections and speculations about meanings in the image.  Some of us associate red roses with expressions of romantic love, white roses with close friendship.  Does the white begin to give way to the red – a deepening affection blooming?  Or does the white smother the possibility of something more than close friendship emerging? We are happy to be developing products from the photographic colorizations of Elize...
White Dreams

White Dreams

Artist and composer Elize Kaisserlidou presents an abstract in soft pastels – washes of digital color over a nature photograph of foliage. Greens, reds, pinks, blue-grays, create a thin veneer over branches and leaves. The pastel abstract which results preserves the sense of experiencing nature – but it is an experience as much felt as visually perceived. For the foliage itself has become abstracted through the swashes of color which partially cover and surround. Just what makes Elize’ treatment of the image so appealing? How does she achieve an effect so fluid, so soothing? It is in Elize’ accompanying audio that some clues lie. In the soft rounded tones of the synth pad we see some sonic analogy to the gently undulating digital brush strokes, especially in the right section of the image. The unaccented harp tones seem to bear some relationship to the understated tones of the pastels. The audio encourages a bit of daydreaming, as does the image. It creates an ambience which resonates with the reflective, dreamlike effect of the artist’s colors. The audio is brief and leaves us wanting more. So we linger on the image, creating our own personal melody of associations, thoughts and fantasies. We are grateful for both musical and visual contributions to the site by Elize Kaisserlidou. We hope you will explore her other contributions on the site through her artist profile. White Dreams is available as a 7″ X 5″ lustre print, a high resolution download, or a Gallery Mount with...
Ravine Variation 5

Ravine Variation 5

When we contemplate artist Karsten’s ravine painting, we experience a subtle form of abstraction even as the figures are recognizable. The abstraction is mostly in color choices. If not for blue trees, trees would be more recognizable as such. But that they are blue allows them to be something else in addition. They are walls. They are monsters. They are tall gates guarded vigilantly against those who deserve not the light at the end of the journey, on the other side. And really the painting seems mostly about that light. The facts of riverbed and shorelines and arboreal canopies are secondary. They form a conduit, a funnel, a passage to our goal. Karsten’s color scheme, mostly a wash of purples and blues, guides our focus to the function over the form. Composer Klandestyne’s audio track provides both ambient and narrative elements. The composer asked if drums should be scratched to allow the track to stand on purely ambient legs. But it is precisely the energy of the snare which propels us into the painting and engages us in the adventure, the journey toward the light. We are enormously grateful for the opportunity to be offering premium quality prints of Karsten’s watercolors. Please visit our shop by clicking the shopping cart...
Sanssouci Statue

Sanssouci Statue

Sanssouci Park is a large park surrounding Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, Germany. Included in the park is a baroque flower garden with lawns, flower beds, hedges and trees. It is within this park that we find the Sanssouci Statue, the subject of artist ViVaDa’s ghostly watercolor. Really, the initial impression is not of a statue but of an apparition moving slowly forward, past the brushstrokes of red and purple which are the gardens tulips and lilacs. Danke’s track creates a mood of foreboding, suggests grave intent. Unfinished business must be put to rest, even so this ghost can find repose. There is a tension between the all white statue and the floral abstraction at his feet. The blooms push back. They say, “Cease this mission of revenge. Are we not beautiful? Is it not enough for you this gift of an eternity surrounded by nature’s annual rebirth?” The second section of Danke’s track offers the statue’s reply. “No – I must press forward. I am not with you. I am alone. That is my curse. I cannot accept your gift. I cannot forgive.” It seems entirely appropriate that our painting is blurry. It speaks to the tension of an offer of beauty and peace tragically spurned. We are grateful for the opportunity to show this watercolor on behalf of ViVaDa and to offer fine prints through the Midisparks Art Shop. Please click the shopping cart link above to select your print from the...