Black & White and Read All Over!
Posted on | June 10, 2017 | No Comments
By Sara Dudley Brown, Theatre Editor
Here is a multi-sensory experience you are not going to want to miss, and don’t have to since it’s going to be repeated in a week! If, on Saturday, June 17 at 4 pm, you make the short jaunt down Route 123 or Route 95 S toward Lorton, Va. to the Workhouse Arts Center which is housed in the old Lorton prison, I guarantee you will witness something extraordinary. Let your senses come alive to the sound of the Virginia Bronze Community Handbell Ensemble playing heavenly classical music while you gaze upon four six-foot-tall, stunningly beautiful stained glass artworks, which will come to musical life before your eyes through expert lighting. It’s a totally exhilarating experience not to be forgotten.I heard the first of two concerts by this amazing group of artists last Sunday in the beautiful vaulted auditorium of the George Washington Masonic Memorial on King Street in Alexandria. You may remember that on April 18 I posted an article in The Zebra announcing this upcoming concert. Little did I know what was in store for the several hundred folks in the audience that evening.
For the last decade, Virginia Bronze Community Handbell Ensemble has been headed by Artistic Director, Carol Feather Martin. Martin’s trademark expanded repertoire offers a greater classical musical variety than traditionally seen in other handbell ensembles. The evening’s concert I witnessed was no exception and provided wonderfully successful works including Gabrieli’s “Canzon,” Orff’s “O’Fortuna,” Rutter’s “Pie Jesu,” and Jason Krug’s “Rite and Ritual” to name a few.
Carol Feather Martin also has transcribed and arranged many of the works the Virginia Bronze Handbell group plays and has collaborated with composers for years. However, this year she embraced recent trends and broadened her efforts toward a true art and music partnership. She and visual soundscape artist, Britt Conley, engineered a stunning night entitled “Mystical & Majestic: Music and Light.”
Just for this evening Conley created four large-scale stained glass works, each representing a different musical piece including: “Nimrod” by Edward Elgar, “The Firebird Suite Finale” by Igor Stravinsky, “The Sunken Cathedral” by Claude Debussy and “The Great Gate of Kiev” by Modest Mussorgsky. Well known for her visualizations of music and musicality while exploring the physics of music, Conley chose to visualize the four works in stained glass with an interactive light show emanating from within the borders of the glass itself. Her art beautifully towered above the ensemble offering a continually changing luminous experience while each piece was performed.
One of the other highlights of the night was the truly gorgeous commissioned work by Jason W. Krug entitled “Rite and Ritual.” This piece uses Virginia Bronze Handbell’s silver melody bells and hand chimes to capture his reflections and enigmatic feelings on Stonehenge.
This truly was a transporting experience of sight and sound like no other I’ve ever witnessed. Try it. You’ll like it, I promise! And I’ll be there!
Performance and Ticket Information:
Saturday, June 17, 4 pm, “Mystical and Majestic: Music and Light Encore Performance,” McGuire Woods Gallery, Building 16 Second Floor, Workhouse Arts Center, 9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton, VA 22079. Free. No tickets required.
Can you visualise a symphony?
To the outsider, classical music can seem like a difficult genre to break into. There is such tradition and structure and apparent complexity to classical music compared to the latest Bieber hit. For years, programme notes at concerts have tried to explain what’s happening in the music, to help the audience unlock its riches by ear. Now an innovative designer at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has come up with a way to let you see what you should be listening for. Experience the power of Visualizing the Symphony, with Hannah Chan-Hartley.
These new Listening Guides have been a great way to engage with the audience at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in a new, dynamic way. In fact, even seasoned, professional musicians can take a great deal from these guides and enjoy the music at an even deeper level. Where else could listening guides be effectively employed… perhaps by music teachers? Effective Music Teaching has this guide on guiding classroom discussions through their method of active listening.
Music and visual art have always been intertwined, and complementary of each other. Great pieces of art have inspired music, and music has inspired great pieces of art. What happens when the two are combined in one stunning display? Read about how Britt Conley and Virginia Bronze combined their efforts in one amazing concert.
With modern computing technology, visualizations of musical masterpieces are easier to create automatically and can greatly add to the listener’s experience. The Music Animation Machine, created by Stephen Malinowski, creates brilliant displays that are sure to captivate your imagination. Here is “Night on Bald Mountain” by Mussorgsky/Rimsky-Korsakov:
About La Vie en Bleu
Yves Klein created the dimensionless International Klein Blue and explored the concept of blue as a “void.” Picasso is known for his Blue Period. Blue’s occurrence inspires awe in the abstract beauty of nature—that a drop of water is absent of color, yet the vast sea appears deeply blue. In music, blues is sorrowful, joyous, melancholic, and therapeutic. “Blues” reveals itself to be a complex and deeply personal inspiration across artistic genres.
La Vie en Bleu features 146 works by 101 artists, juried by artist and curator Harriet Lesser and Arts Club of Washington president Judith Viggers Nordin. As submissions came in, clear themes began to organically emerge, including explorations of rebirth or renewal, music, the color blue, and water or nature.
Standouts of the exhibition include duo Jim Maio and Sara Levy’s collage of worn, vintage album covers from the Blue Note record label, and Britt Conley’s abstract “Out of the Blue” notable includes a saxophone and music motifs. Projecting themes of nature are Leda Black’s digital composites featuring shells, metal, and flora, Marty Ittner’s 104-inch-long cyanotype jellyfish, and Trisha Rabalais’s delicate three-dimensional nest sculptures. Conveying a sense of renewal or rebirth, Julie Gross captures the promise and wonder of urban escapes with the landmark Golden Gate Bridge in “Golden Gate 2,” Gwynne Davis focuses on the birth of art with a white smock streaked and splattered in different paint colors, and Hubert Jacksons’ “Spirits of Clifton Farm” and Rachael Bohlander’s “The Cowboy” feature abstracted, shadowy figures that seem to be both in the present, yet ephemeral. Interpretations of color that give blue vibrancy and movement include Fran Abrams’ clay sculpture creating the effect of blue patterned fabric falling in loose and casual folds, unfurling cardboard sheets of different solid blues in “Coats” and “Flags” by Artemis Herber, William Peirce’s wood vessels, for which he created a new dying process yielding rich cobalt coloration, and Ladan Ebrahimian’s application of paint on mirrored glass in a Persian motif.
Strathmore Visual Arts is located at 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, MD. For more information, visit www.strathmore.org.
Conceptual Structuralism: Considerations with Graphite
November 9 – December 1
To me, art is a means of communication that goes far beyond subject matter alone. Although direct reference can be used to motivate the mind or evoke a reaction, visuals can be configured to move a person and trigger aesthetic responses on much broader and hopefully, deeper, levels. These abstract drawings are from a nearly daily drawing journey from which I have been exploring conceptual structuralism.
I find graphite to be both an incredibly versatile and neutral medium which allows for expressive explorations into the potential of line as well as subtle “breathable spaces.” For these graphite works line is a character supporting a conversation among spatial areas. Each of the images constitutes an evolving journal of ideas, considerations and concepts, which have in turn, helped shape the blueprints of my larger works.
For interviews or to learn more about the artist and their work, please contact them directly: