Walrus Entourage 1

April 4, 2021 3:50 PM

A while back, my partner started doing (visual) art again after a long hiatus and I did a few instrumental songs based on some of her pieces. This is the first of three so far.

You can find my partner's art on Instagram); the piece this track is based on can be seen on my web site or Instagram. As you might surmise from the Instagram post and the title of the track, this is also the first of a two-parter, the second of which I'll post later.

posted by valrus (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Oh, this is fuckin' cool. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be opening a separate tab with the third link, and then following along with the song over the second panel... please correct me if I am "opening the package" incorrectly. My two impressons: (1) The music goes excellently with the pieces, they both evoke movement, of each other and of other abstract "things". I like the experience of having music made for the viewing of the art. (2) Since both music and "sequential art" have, well, sequence, is there an order on that second (or whichever) panel which you think I should be following?
posted by not_on_display at 12:37 AM on April 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Re-reading my description, I'm realizing I could have been much clearer about the music/art correspondence! You are right that the music corresponds to the second picture in the Instagram link directly to the piece, aka the left half of the two-part "Ocean" piece.

As to whether you are experiencing it "correctly" - I didn't really have a "correctly" in mind! I was using the art as a jumping-off point for myself to make music that would hopefully stand on its own, but it does have a pretty direct correspondence to the visual piece. It's interesting - the art was certainly created without a musical accompaniment in mind, so seems unambiguously a "complete experience" if you look at it without listening to the music. But the music is based on the art; does it depend on it? Up to the listener, I suppose!

To answer your specific question about the order, the general progression is from left to right, top to bottom, as you'd read a [comic] book, but a couple of the piece's five "movements" include two panels. The movements correspond to the panels thus:
1. The busy tall rectangular panel in the upper left.
2. The second and third panels: that is, the large rectangle in the upper right and its sliced-off lower right corner.
3. The two lower panels on the left side in the rough shape of a dotted lowercase "i".
4. The large trapezoidal panel in the middle of the bottom row.
5. The large trapezoidal panel in the lower right.
posted by valrus at 11:01 AM on April 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Thanks! Not that I was expecting a "correct answer" since I had a good time looking at the pictures and listening to the music, and letting my brain wander from panel to panel seeing if any one part "matched" another was a fun exercise, reminiscent of undergraduate, sense-heavy classes. Abstract art is exactly that—I was just curious if there was a direct correspondence of panel-to-music you'd had in mind, or more of just a "feel" to the overall thing.

So in a way, I turned the tables on you, sorry! I always think about the more interpretive arts that the ultimate "meaning" exists in the viewer's head, regardless of the intent of the artist, and to ask the artist what they "meant" by something is almost beside the point (unless there are real serious levels of imagery I don't get. e.g. you know James Joyce wasn't writing for his audience, but if they got it, all the better). But in this case, and I didn't mean to, I kinda gave you an assignment to pair up the panels and music.

Well, I'll try it that way then! :D Good job, and keep it up—I wish more comix and GNs had soundtracks. I know it's not a novel concept, but this seems a lot less pretentious that other more famous examples I've run across in the wild.
posted by not_on_display at 5:33 PM on April 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is really lovely; unexpected sounds working really nicely together. I like this very much. Please post more!
posted by greenish at 1:27 PM on April 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

So great! I love the shifting textures. Such a great starting place for making music.
posted by umbú at 12:11 PM on April 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

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