The Sculpture Boys

Sculpture – The art of making two- or three-dimensional representative or abstract forms, especially by carving stone or wood or by casting metal or plaster

The Sculpture BoysAppreciators  of the art of making two- or three-dimensional representative or abstract forms, especially by carving stone or wood or by casting metal or plaster.

As the only two students who chose sculptures to inspire our music, Marty and I deemed ‘The Sculpture Boys’ the only sensible title for this blog.

Paddy Price

Negro Riding a Goat

Ascribed to Andrea Riccio


This small bronze sculpture in the corner of a room with no context, appealed to me greatly. With nothing telling me how I should respond, I could interpret the piece in any way I wanted.

When viewing the sculpture initially, I imagined a long and difficult journey.  It is clear that this small boy is in great discomfort, his muscles are tensed and he is struggling to balance. In contrast, the goat is strong and reliable, with its horns used as reigns to steady the boy.

In my music I wanted to create this sense of an anguished journey, using Marty’s beautiful flute playing to narrate the story. I intend to divide the piece into three sections opening with some dissonant mysterious flutter tonguing, moving into a more spiky and aggressive passage and concluding on soft and floating flute lines.

Here is an unpolished version of my opening section…

Marty Fisk

Homme Vu Par Une Fleur


I wasarp immediately drawn to Arp’s rather unassuming sculpture when I first saw it on display. A single piece of small curved bronze doesn’t seem like it would be full of inspiring source material for creating a piece of music, but the longer you spend with it, the more small details begin to stand out. Simply through years on display, the metal has begun to corrode and take on elements from it’s surroundings, increasing in detail over time.

I have chosen to reflect the work through an ambient work comprised wholly of synthesised sounds generated in SuperCollider. Using SuperCollider gives a level of customisation and control over sound not available through a more end-user focused synthesis method, allowing me to easily program the subtlest variations in sound that such an artwork demands. The majority of the source material used will be based upon Sine waves as I feel that their simultaneously bare yet warm tone is most in keeping with the contrasting nature of Arp’s sculpture: Smoothly curving but pitted by corrosion, or the warmth of the colours against the coldness of the metal.

The following audio file demonstrates the range of tone available from changing just one aspect of a single note, in this case the harmonics above the base pitch (110Hz).


4 thoughts on “The Sculpture Boys”

  1. I really like how the flute is used in Paddy’s piece, it gives off the sense of folk-based music and is really effective in portraying the sculpture. I also really like Marty’s approach; the sine waves give an impression of purity and stillness, which is very fitting for such a simple and ambiguous piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like the way Paddy has used the flute to narrate the story as it’s something I have been thinking about in regards to my piece.
    You talk about a long journey, like it has a start and an end. But would you consider a continuous looping structure to represent the fact that the pair are set in bronze, and can never truly complete their journey?


  3. I really like the melding of classical and acousmatic elements in Paddy’s piece. It creates an intriguing sort of feeling having a sound that you can recognise as a flute being warped in such a way that it begins to lose its identity and takes on differing sound qualities. I also really like the relation between Marty’s piece and the sculpture, with the tones resonating in different ways and highlighting various harmonics despite coming from the same source, much like the sculpture which exists definitively as a bronze shape but beyond that is completely subject to interpretation as far as purpose and aesthetic beauty is concerned.


  4. I really like the examples that both of you have given. I like the sounds that Marty has synthesised and how they represent the materialistic qualities of the artwork. I how Paddy has created a journey for the character especially since music is experienced through time where as art is in the moment. It will be interesting to hear how each of you approach a 3D art work.


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