Re: Musical/Visual Collaborative performance (fwd)

John B. Galloway (jbg1@Ra.MsState.Edu)
Tue, 9 Feb 1999 12:42:35 -0600 (CST)

Rico wrote,

> I find your premise very intriguing...could you say a little more about how
> this has evolved and what these preformances actually consitute? That is,
> what does the music sound like, what does the art look like? How do they
> influence each other? Is the art used in any way to be like a score for the
> musicians? Do they improvise freely or are they playing highly structured
> straight ahead Jazz?

We try to keep the performance as simple as possible in terms of set up
and delivery. The Atlanta gig will be a trio of musicians and a trio of
painters. The painters will most likely work on a piece for the first set
and one for the second. The music will be completely improvised. It often
works in and out of time. Meaning there are parts that come together
straight ahead and some parts freer. But the structure is not distinct
until it happens. The saxophonist Kidd Jordan is from New Orleans, drummer
Alvin Fielder is from Meridian, MS but has lived in Chicago, Houston, TX,
New York. The pianist Chris Parker is originally from Little Rock, AR now
living in Memphis but has lived in New York as well. So in the music
there is a strong blues based approach in all of the performers. But they
are very competent and flexible enough to go anywhere they want. And there
are no restrictions on where they go.
All of the painters come from a strong figurative background. We
all draw from life a great deal and study figurative and cubist
compositional ideas in our personal work among other things.

> Is the artwork abstract or of specific subject matter.

The whole performance is extremely abstract although many times we have
started the performances observing objects in front of us. We work away
from direct observation. Playing with the forms.

> Does the audience move around in the space, like and installation or just
> sit in chairs like a concert?

Some sit in chairs and some get closer. But we set ourselves up in front
of the audience like a formal concert in a half circle so the musicians
can see the artwork and be seen and the artwork can be seen.

> Tell us about the scene in Atlanta...

I don't have much of an idea about the Atlanta scene. I will know more
after the gig. It has some great radio stations. WREK, Georgia tech and
Album 88.5. A decent gallery scene.

> I know that the use of video-art has been intergrated into real-time
> performance situations, but I am curious as to how painting or drawing
> might be approached in this type of collaboration.

I approach these performance more like a workshop or studio event where
the interaction between myself and the musicians is the most important
thing. I am there to learn things and am not thinking about the audience
very much. I don't have time to worry about if they are getting it while
the performance is happening. I only have so much time to finish the work.
It is very important that we finish the painting, completely as
composed as possible. They will be judged in the end with what was
heard. We do hand out brochures that explain the premise and speak a
little bit at the beginning to the whole crowd and in the end to everybody
we can about how they saw it.
The musicians are at the advantage.
It takes a lot more time to build signifcant forms visually than aurally.
This doesn't mean I am not concerned with the presentation, I am. But, I
am not putting on a rock n roll show. The strength of these performances
must come from what is played and drawn. People will call this avant
garde, alternative, anything to prepare the crowd. But this is simply
plein air painting, I just have a subject that I can really interact with.

> More...?!
> Rico @ SF CA US
> > I have just found this list. Teach drawing at Mississippi State
> >University. I have been so enormously influenced by jazz and its
> >creative growth both in the 20th century through the individuals lives who
> >have made it as well as the whole artform in the middle of its repressive
> >homeland. It teaches me many things about composition and timing and
> >texture that I can apply visually to my work. Its vibrations promote the
> >physical act of drawing(dancing).
> > I have for the past few years been working with musicians in
> >performances
> >trying to synthesize the two mediums of painting and music into a complete
> >improvised performance. In many ways it has gone far beyond simply moving
> >around with charcoal in my hand up next to the paper while somebody blows
> >a note or two. There has been an exchange and the end result of the music
> >and the painting are directly related and this is somewhat evident.
> > February 19th, Friday, there is to be a performance at the Eyedrum in
> >Atlanta, GA with myself, saxophonist Kidd Jordan, drummer Alvin Fielder,
> >and pianist Chris Parker and three other painters (Dylan Karges, Chad
> >Anderson, and Jason Greene). The performance starts around 9:30 p.m.
> >tickets are $8 in advance/$10 at the door. Tickets can be reserved by
> >e-mail at I thought some of you would be interested
> >in this performance.
> > Please let me know if you need more information. And forgive me if
> >I have offended you with my self-promotional chatter.
> >
> >Bart Galloway
> >