13 February 2007

Look and Listen

If there’s anything better than visual art, it's the combination of it with music. I’m not talking about sound art. I’m not talking about Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk either (or anyone else’s for that matter). Today, I’m thinking about looking at one art while you listen to another. It is easy enough to craft such an experience. Just open a book of whatever you think is great art while listening to whatever it is that you consider great music. If you chose to do that, you can create the experience you want to have. But sometimes, you find yourself unexpectedly in the middle of such an experience—someone else’s un/intentional creation. As a student, I went to a fair number of concerts in the campus art museum. The most impressive of these was an African drum troop, whose rhythms and resonances created (bizarrely) a counterpoint to the rather stark austerity of the space they played it. As I attempt to describe their music, I come up with things like earthy, traditional, cultural—the opposite of the museum’s deliberately sleek modernity. Another memorable visual/auditory experience took place in a little jewel of a rococo theater in Germany. It was a pleasure to watch Mozart’s Magic Flute performed in a theater that would have been in operation when the opera was written (though by 1791 it would have been out-moded and passé).

I’ve mentioned the blog of the St. Louis Museum of Contemporary Art before—in the same sound art post linked above. It was on their blog that I learned of another visual/auditory experience going on at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. They’ve got a weekly concert series in the museum and you can get free podcasts of the performances. I think today must have been my lucky day.

As for tomorrow, well, lets just wait and see. Keep your fingers crossed for us because in Lebanon, Valentines Day will be a big afterthought.

1 comment:

Dad said...

Congratulations on your lucky day. I could not count this day as a lucky day. Equal to the tasks at hand but not a lucky day. If one of us has to be lucky and the other one unlucky I will always choose to be the unlucky one.