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Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Drawn to the Beat Soundtrack

My Music Drawing 'notes' made while selecting the Drawn to the Beat Soundtrack

Selecting the music I want to draw, and in this case the music I would give Drawn to the Beat participants to draw, is a process that is difficult to define. It involves a combination of knowing through my own experience of music drawing and trialing different styles of music in preparatory workshops, with instinct and an attention to creating the right balance of mood.

I decided early on to involve musicians Chris Briden and Amalie Roberts in the project to ensure Drawn to the Beat would have an eclectic soundtrack. Involving others also meant that the selection would not be dominated too much by personal taste. I invited Chris and Amalie to draw music in my studio, as our starting point. The music they drew was a selection of music that I had drawn and that I felt 'worked'. We discussed the different styles that provoke a good response through drawing, music with 'layers' such as jazz, classical, electronic and world. We also looked at the importance of creating the write mood, a lot of the music we initially selected was ambient and dark, we then tried to balance this with the euphoric, and upbeat - As drawing music is about responding to the feelings the sound creates in the drawer, though a multi layered piece of classical music is something you can lose yourself in through drawing, it is equally important to have a song that is known, loved and fills you with adrenalin, the kind of song you can't not respond to.

My Music Drawing 'notes' made while selecting the Drawn to the Beat Soundtrack

The play list Amalie, Chris and I came up with was played through the silent Disco Headsets throughout the night, with key tracks played out over the P.A. in addition to this musicians Paul Balcombe and David Johnson from the band 'To Sophia' played a twenty minute set. Their involvement in Drawn to the Beat again began with drawing music themselves in my studio. This followed my decision to have a short set of live music at Drawn to the Beat, after I had experimented with drawing live and recorded music with music and dance students at Salford University. I wanted to include live music partly as a further exploration of the personal individual response (encouraged by using headsets) and the shared (tracks played out through the P.A and Live music) The environment and the drawing process reflected this, as individual marks and drawings were made, that then layered with others to become a whole.

The other reason for Live music is the contrast it has to the experience of drawing recorded music, particularly as it leave the way open for the musicians to respond to the effect their music is having on the audience, a form of call and response. It is also a way of the drawer having a connection to the music that goes beyond the sound and to the musicians themselves.

My Music Drawing 'notes' made while selecting the Drawn to the Beat Soundtrack

A film of Drawn to the Beat including the David and Paul’s live set will be completed soon. In the mean time here is a sample of the Drawn to the Beat Silent Disco Play list:

Steve Reich – Electric Counter
Donna Summer – I Feel Love
Django Reinhardt – I Got Rhythm
Pixies – Debaser
Specials – Ghost Town
London Symphony Orchestra – Ravel’s Bolero
Ek Taal – Duet
King Tubby – County GI Dub
Portishead – Numb
Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra – Rhapsody in Blue
Martin Brew – I can do my thing
Last Harbor – Lights
Shubert – Piano Concerto
Little Richard – Long Tall Sally
Damon Albarn & Malian Musicians – Les Ecrocs
Slovenian Radio Symphony Orchestra – Swan Lake
Sigor Ros – Gobbledigook
Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil
Nick Drake – From the Morning
Charles Trenet - Boom

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