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

negro-on-a-goat

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

Arp

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).

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London pieces – War and nature

Adam West
Flavour of Tears
Magritte

This week we settled on our final pieces of art and had a great time defacing them with adjectives! I am now well underway with the conception and implementation stage of my work having decided that the political aspect of this piece, especially that to do with the second world war, is to be my focus.

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My work is going to focus on the polemic which characterised the death of peace in Europe during the war. Magritte captures this theme in this stark image of a totem bird of peace transformed into a leaf. This leaf is slowly decaying, being eaten away at the heart. Magritte draws the eye constantly to the face of the bird which bares a sad, resigned expression. The humanity which rests there is quite unsettling. Magritte’s use of light draws us to this expression again and again as the brightest point of the painting is at the top of the head of this poignant effigy. The red curtain signifies the encroaching of communism and secrecy, secrecy being the death of peace.

Below is an excerpt from my work using Neville Chamberlain’s famous speech declaring war with Germany in 1939. I have mixed this with other speeches from Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler. This excerpt was created in SuperCollider (learn more about SuperCollider Here) and is a work in progress.

James Dickinson
Primrose Hill – Winter
Auerbach

Primrose Hill is widely known due to its clear view of the city beyond a more rural park area. This is primarily why I chose this piece; there are clear parallels with industry and nature, or synthetic and organic, in electroacoustic music. The fact that this is also a very textural piece, i.e. where brush strokes are unashamedly visible, shows that Auerbach’s apparent aggression when painting was somewhat intentional. I want to bring this out in my work, especially when you consider the irony that this is inevitably meant to be a picturesque scene:

primrosehill

©Shutterstock

Auerbach has actually created more than fifty versions of this work, which have been very useful in my research for the piece, especially with regard to Auerbach’s approach to glimmering light in the distance. I wanted to focus on these glimmers first, which are most likely representations of lamp posts – I wanted to use these as a primary motif as they seem to be the only instance of the modern world within the otherwise green park. I have replicated this by taking three sine waves, representing a pure but electronic-based medium, and slowly distorting them, primarily using a 50Hz buzz.