Title: Through My Hands, A Footnote to Life
I chose to create a multidisciplinary project based on the theme of seasonal change. The musical portion of the project is a cycle of twelve piano songs that reflect time, freedom, and moments spent with friends and family. I created a cover for the piano compositions based on the Greek statue of Nike and a work by the 20th century artist Wassily Kandinsky entitled Improvisation. The colors in the cover piece are the visual representation of seasonal change reflected in the cycle of the musical compositions. In an introductory manuscript, I discuss my approach to the project and the influence of Kandinsky's theories on the relationship between music and art.
Songs (Camaraderie, #9 in Yellow, Circles, Drummers Lullaby, Imaginary Friend, #2 in Yellow, #4 in Yellow, Summers End Part 1, Summers End Part 2, Pictures Painted in Black and White, Moving On, Remember Never Forget, Running Out of Time)
For my Senior Project I composed twelve songs on the piano, made a book out
of all those songs, wrote a paper, recorded a C.D., and designed the cover for
the book. When I returned to school in September I realized I had a lot to do.
I already had seven songs completed, but I still needed five more songs, I
needed to find out where I was going to print my book, record my C.D., write a
paper, and design the cover of the book. To say the least I was really stressed
out, but meeting with my mentor Kimble Humiston really helped me push all
pressure aside. Within our meetings we would discuss what I wanted my product
to be. I realized that I wanted the Nike statue on the front of my cover
because I have grown up with the Nike, (being at Ross since 5th
grade) and to me the Nike represents movement and freedom and that corresponded
perfectly to the representation of my songs. But I didn’t want the Nike to be
just a regular painting or drawing; I wanted it to be unique and full of color.
Then I realized that I wanted to write about Wassily Kandinsky, an artist who
was chromothetic, the ability to perceive color through the sounds of music. I
realized I was somewhat chromothetic and used that to my advantage. When I
write songs I usually write them because a certain emotion I’m feeling, a
season I’m in, etc. So when I play the songs I am brought back to those moments
or that season. In creating my songs I would sit down at the piano and first
just fool around with different chords, then add the right hand in, and then
when I started formulating a song I would write down the notes, and keep
playing it over and adding more and more until a song was complete. Realizing
had much to do I headed to the tech lab to download the Sibelius program onto
my laptop. Sibelius is a program where you can digitally notate songs;
all you have to do it plug in a cord running through your laptop into an
electric keyboard. You open the program write the name of the songs, name of
the composer, what time signature it is, and what clef the song it located in.
This all sounded very easy, but Sibelius ended up being the more rigorous,
painstaking, and infuriating experience. I say this because the first time I
used Sibelius 4, and it wouldn’t let me save any of my songs, so I up-graded to
Sibelius 4.5 which worked for awhile, but soon ended up having problems with me
recording my songs. I then had to wait two weeks for Sibelius 5, and in the
mean time I would write songs, and met with my outside consultant, Donna Molin
who is my piano teacher and helped me put the songs in the correct time
signature and clef. After two months of senior project had passed I have all
twelve songs notated. Next I needed to create the cover piece and write a
paper. I met with Jennifer Cross and discussed my project with her so she could
get a feel of what I wanted the cover to resemble. I talked to her about
Kandinsky and she pulled out a book of his artwork and I found a painting
called “Improvisation”. I immediately knew this would be a part of the cover.
So I outlined the image of the Nike, laid it over the Improvisation image and
started to paint. That weekend I finished the painting and wrote the first
draft of my paper. When I returned from Thanksgiving break I did four to five
revisions on the paper and went back to my notated songs and used white out to
erase extra staff bars that would be randomly put into the songs with the
Sibelius program. After all the revisions were done I called the Montauk
Printing Press to discuss my project and to see if they would be able to help.
After discussing with them what my project was they couldn’t have seemed more
helpful. So the following week my mentor and I went to the Montauk Printing
Works Cited or Works Consulted
Artist Rights Society. “Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944.” 2000. Viewed 15 Nov. 2008.
“Wassily Kandinsky.” Viewed 15 Nov. 2008
“Wassily Kandinsky.” Viewed 15 Nov. 2008.
Molin, Donna. Lifelong. 2007.
Kandinsky, Vassily. Improvisation.
Brahms Johannes. Brahms masterpieces for solo piano, 38 works Johannes Brahms. Mineoa, N.Y Dover 1998.
Debussy, Claude. Caude Debussy: piano
Chopin, Frederic. Chopin masterpieces:
for soo piano, 46 work/ Frederic Chopin.
Community Member (Details)
Donna Molin was my outside consultant. She has been my piano teacher for seven years but has retired. She helped me put the songs in the right clef and time signature when creating the song on Sibelius.