The Influence of Music

Some of my earliest childhood memories involve sitting and drawing at the kitchen table, with the albums of my Mum or Dad playing on the stereo. We would listen to the Doors, The Clash, The Police and John Martyn, amongst many others, and I would slide off into another world, using the paper and pencils in front of me to indulge my imagination. It is a feeling I still get now when I put an album on and begin an artwork.

The relationship between music and art is rich and inextricably linked. Kandinsky, Klee, Gauguin and Miro have all written about the important influence that music played upon their work. The former even saw the early stages of many of his paintings emerge as he watched and listened to the classical concerts played in Moscow and St. Petersburg. His synaesthesia often caused him to see music as colours and forms, and to taste different tones and sounds. His letters and accounts of these experiences create fascinating new frameworks for his works.

Contemporary artist Banks Violette works with Black and Drone Metal bands such as Sunno))) to add extra sonic layers to his artworks and installations. He also uses some of the controversial events that have happened within these genres, as well as the iconography, as the subject of certain exhibitions.

I always work to music, the basic pleasures are always the best, and I love the feeling of getting into the studio and starting an album before I begin to work. A lot of my artworks, especially those tied with the endurance swims and treks, offer an atmosphere and a suggestion, rather than an exact event or a detailed singular point. I like to create artworks that represent and allude to a landscape as a whole, an intertwined environment that is constantly shifting and changing. For this reason, (the essence of the work taking priority over other visual elements) I like to listen to music that attempts to achieve similar effects. I find inspiration and parrallels in bands like Mogwai, Pelican, Isis and Sigur Ros, as well as Black Metal bands such as Liturgy and Burzum.

As well as creating an incredible sense of atmosphere within their respective sounds, I find the structural and stylistic elements of their work inspirational as well. It is from these musicians (rather than visual art) that I learned how repetition and layering could create a powerful sense of ambience, texture and tension within an artwork.

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