Music to watch Rothko by

Someone has (kind of) nicked my idea! Well that's the Internet for you, free access to knowledge and ideas and all that. ;)

Anyway, this Guardian blogger has suggested music to listen to while viewing works by Mark Rothko at Tate Modern.

"So the list of pieces that I've come up with is not supposed to be a soundtrack to anybody's experience of the paintings; instead, they are musical analogies for what I felt about them, for the spaces they opened up in my imagination. But I hope that by listening and viewing at the same time, what you'll end up with is a kind of multi-media metaphorical enrichment. That sounds astonishingly pretentious: what I mean is that the music will function as a sonic metaphor for the paintings, the paintings a visual metaphor for the music, and the result will be something in between them both, dissolving the boundaries between artwork and music."

Yes, it does sound a bit pretentious, but this is kind of the idea I'm interested in - how music enhances the museum/gallery experience; a extra facet of the interpretive process. I think I'm buying into that ideas that music unlocks the creative part of the brain - I'm certainly more productive (in terms of ideas, inspiration and amount done) when I'm writing while listening to music. Crucially though, it's got to be classical or largely instrumental, for me anyway. Lyrics get in the way. So, rather than thinking about a good playlist to listen to on your iPod when you're visiting a museum, we should be thinking about other sensory ways in which to enhance the experience. I guess this is where interactivity and facilitating different learning styles comes in.

But this idea he talks about of dissolving the boundaries between artwork and music, also reminds me of meditative practice (I'm teaching myself to meditate at the moment - need more head space, urgently!), where the aim is to just 'be'.

I'm rambling... ;)


Ceri said…
Ambient and electronica is for me perfect to 'watch' artworks by. As well as anything etheral and 'other-worldly'

Suggested artists (and if you want to hear any of these I will gladly supply CDs!)
- Arovane
- Brothamstates (he did the music for the Sprite advert with the cute goblin thing)
- Cocteau Twins
- Future sound of London
- Chris Clark (he has the same name as an ex-boyfriend of mine but that is beside the point)
Amy said…
Ceri - that Sprite goblin thing is not cute. It's the scariest, most disturbing thing on telly! I have to leave the room when that advert comes on.

Good suggestions though :)

I'm getting very into Chinese qin music. And I think that would be pretty good for a museum visit. Some of it is like pared down, acoustic blues guitar. Really syncopated, but kind of 'mellow' at the same time. Interesting stuff...

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