Anna Clyde – visually facilitating musical composition

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In this fascinating video, Anna Clyde, currently Mead composer in residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, shows how she used 7 panels, each representing 3 minute sections of her new orchestral piece, Night Ferry, after the poem by Seamus Heaney, 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature, "Elegy for Robert Lowell":

You were our Night Ferry
thudding in a big sea,
the whole craft ringing
with an armourer’s music
the course set wilfully across
the ungovernable and dangerous.

She used paint, charcoal pencil, and collage (images from Gustave Doré's illustrations of the Ancient Mariner), calling it a "symbiotic relationship", where certain forms inspire certain sounds, and certain rhythms images, helping her "see" the structure of this major orchestral work.

Many an artist, and many a musician, gains inspiration from the other side.  Even the vocabulary is the same — form, harmony, rhythm, color, tone, line…  As a graphic facilitator, I find it interesting that one can visually facilitate musical composition, and as a visual artist, that a composer could be so skilled in the visual medium!  Once it's recorded and available, I plan to do my own visual version of her piece, only recording my drawing process in time.




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