The Cm/Inch Concerto in C (for nine paintings and ten musicians)

World premiere: December 12, 2009
Location: Sign Groningen

Composition, Editing and Montage: Michael Karr
Camera: Klaas Koetje

Performers:
Louise Nieuwman-Berendsen: flute
Anne Groenewege: alto saxophone
Frank Bos: piccolo trumpet
Pablo Ruiz-Henao: bass trombone
Jelmer Tichelaar: timpani
Tsjisse de Jong: glockenspiel
Roele Kok: piano
Simona Strungaru: piano
Melanie Waite: violin
Sharon Baylis: viola

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Music ensemble vs. Color spectrum

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In a quest to discover the so-called musicality behind my painting method, I devised a mathematical system by which to translate a series of nine painted compositions to a concerto in nine movements.

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I constructed a tonal circle, with the instruments sorted from highest to lowest. On the color wheel, we see that the ‘lower’ colors do flow into the ‘higher’ colors eventually, so how would this work in the cycle? The lowest register of the highest instrument (Glockenspiel) had to flow out of the highest register of the lowest instrument (Timpani). See illustration above.

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Which notes came in the score were determined by the color at each specific position in the composition.  Red at one position was accompanied by a different second note than the red at another position.  Because we perceived that red at both positions, there was a third note to bring the cumulative chord back to the proper “red” note.  The exact degrees of color on the color wheel and the multiple layers of paint on the canvas translated to orchestration of the instruments, where intensity of the color translated to how loudly an instrument played.  How visual rhythm translates to audible rhythm is so straightforward that I need not explain it.

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