I think Bach’s music and abstract visual art have a kinship that is so much the same that it actually comes from the same place. It is so immediate in that it is a direct experience of the emotion and energy of the artist at the time he or she created it. This is my experience of playing Bach’s solo violin music and both observing and creating abstract visual art. Bach’s music is just full of ideas, sometimes small motives that he takes and builds massive pieces with, like in his fugues, sometimes brilliant melodies, orchestration, instrumental voices conversing with each other, I could go on. This is the same in abstract visual art. I think having an understanding of Bach’s music helps me to appreciate the works of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. I appreciate these artists a lot more now than I did when I was younger and I’m sure it’s due to studying music.
Today I was able to paint along side my daughter. She was using some watercolors. So I jumped in and painted some simple lines. What resulted was a layered abstract piece that was really fun to make! I put the video together along with a recording I made of a movement from Bach’s Sonata No. 3 for Violin Solo. Anyone can paint like this. All it takes is a bit of courage and imagination!
It’s been several months and after pursuing a number of creative projects I’ve decided to start blogging again! This is going to be the centralized location for all of the various creative endeavors that are taking place while I’m in quarantine with my family due to COVID. I sincerely hope you who are reading this and your families are all well and staying safe. This is a great tragedy that has befallen our world, yet I’m hoping that out of it comes a renewed sense of the human soul, creativity and expression. If we look to times such as the Middle Ages in Europe, with its Black Plague and incessant wars but also it’s majestic cathedrals and masterfully designed cities and villages which still often stand today, we can see that dark times can often also bring forth courage and truthful creativity from us. Something beautiful that has emerged is the new genre on YouTube of remote musical collaboration. As many of you know, the work I’ve been doing with my children has necessitated my stepping back from orchestra direction and chamber music performance. This has been very life altering. However, when I saw an invitation from Alma Deutscher to musicians to record her song “Star Of Hope,” I immediately set to work on it. What came about was a “Chior Of Hope” when people all over the world sent in their instrumental and vocal performances of the song! The words are so beautiful and, as Alma says, perfect for the time we’re living through right now. In fact, when I came a cross the piece I was very worried for myself and my whole family because it was just when COVID was starting to hit the U.S. But the words of this song honestly did give me hope. This song got me over my fears and got me living in courage. May it do the same for you! Here is the video. I’m the violinist wearing pink, “Mommy SeaStar” in the credits since that’s my YouTube name. This song is from Alma’s opera “Cinderella” so I dressed up like Cinderella a bit on purpose. I’ve included the collaboration video as well as the two I did alone at my home and Alma’s original video where she sings with her lovely sister, Helen. Enjoy!
Since my daughter has a challenging time with live violin music in the house, I’ve taken to the outdoors and have been creating a series of hymn videos played on violin solo. “Adapt and Edure!” Here are my latest videos:
We continue our work with Mommy SeaStar! Think of me as a Mommy “Mr. Rodgers.” I love Mr. Rodgers and his whole philosophy! He taught me growing up that I was special, just the way I am. I want to share this feeling of self confidence with children. My daughter is on the autism spectrum. I am a big supporter of “neurodiversity.” You know, my spell check doesn’t even know that is a real word! “Neurodiversity” means that natural variations in brain function occur naturally within our human family. Neurodiversity is something to celebrate. My daughter has a unique way of seeing the world and being her mommy has opened up a totally new perspective for me! That’s where Mommy SeaStar comes in. We explore the world around us through music, art and science. We incorporate son and sensory learning into our studies because they give us a better understanding about what’s really going on! We have a whole series of videos on YouTube and I’ll be sharing many of them here! Be sure to follow us, Mommy SeaStar, on YouTube and Instagram!
Continuing in the sleep music vein of my last piece, my latest music piece is made of improvised viola, organ, and wind chimes. It’s the first time I’ve created a completely composition that could be transcribed.
This project took me the better part of the past couple of weeks. This is my original music designed and produced to help aid in sleep and relaxation: