Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lisa-Marie's approach to Challenge 1

A New Language

How do you go from musical inspiration to fiber art? This is our challenge, and no doubt, is it challenging. The inspiration is aural and the result visual. How does one make that journey? As I approached this first project, I realized how intensely visual and verbal I am. I also realized that our visual art product: a fiber art piece 18” W X 24” H is the common denominator. All I need to do, to move from musical inspiration to fiber art, is find the language of translation.

The first issue I encountered was disconnecting from what I already knew: the title of the piece, the picture of the equalizer, concepts of music. I didn’t want to be influenced by anything but Vivaldi’s music. This was much harder than I imagined. I chose a dark room and noise cancelling headsets to help me focus on the sounds alone.

The first few times I listened, I did nothing but concentrate on the music. Later, I allowed myself to doodle. Finally, I constructed a set of questions to help me interpret what I heard.  While listening, I asked myself:
·       - How do I feel?
·       - Are there patterns?
·       - Do I sense colors?
·       - What images come to mind?

Of course, these questions are my attempt to distill music back to my primary forms of interacting with the world, but I find them to be instrumental (pardon the pun) to translating my inspiration. Since I will ultimately be transforming sounds to pictures, I need to construct a new language, or at least a bridge.

I am only a few steps down that path, but I am excited about where it will lead. I even had a fleeting vision of a quilt. Who knows if it will manifest itself; we are still in the early stages and frequently the demands of execution modify the original vision. Stay tuned and we’ll see together!


  1. I've heard musical phrases spoken of as 'motifs'. In Vivaldi there is indeed repetition. Perhaps if you can find the sheet music...check out the repeats...

    1. Thank you Margaret, that's a great idea. I like the word 'motif' and I love the idea of perusing sheet music. It's fun to follow the various clues, hoping they inspire something visually. I appreciate your input!