shown here printed twice
I explored a range of compositions of these blocks.
In my final series of prints I wanted to explore an abstract theme I had researched and touched upon in my explorations in earlier parts of the course; the interpretation of music through art. As a musician, music will always be my first love, it seemed natural to bring this into my artwork in this final project.
I chose an all time favorite piece of music of mine and my late Dad, Mingus IIBS, a piece of jazz with prominent double bass solos (I play double bass). At the outset I was not sure how I would represent the linear nature of music through a static artwork but as my explorations developed that became less important. I researched many artists who have interpreted music visually but the most significant of these was Richter and his series of paintings inspired by Cage. He did not try and interpret small details of shapes of lines or colours of harmony, he took the same compositional approach as the composer and worked towards the same aesthetic. This opened up the whole subject for me and helped loosen up my ideas.
I cut a block of a double bass to create the foundation of the piece reflecting the starting and ending solos and founding bass line running throughout, and explored different layouts of this. I then added another structural element of the strings in the centre, some of which I printed as a collagraph, some as monoprint. The rest I composed freely in the nature of a piece of jazz. I cut motifs representing the head and another repeating stab chord motif that would have been planned written out aspects of the composition but experimented with different placements of these. The solos I printed as freer monoprints of coloured lines as the final layer to reflect the way they are performed.
In comparison to a piece of jazz music the prints had a planned structure but not one that is rigdly composed or that can exist in only one format. A piece of jazz like this could be performed in many ways, and may be varied from performance to performance. To reflect this I did not use a traditional registration system, many blocks were placed by eye on top of the paper and then the paper and block were turned over. The small blocks were placed on top of the paper and printed with the block uppermost to allow control over the composition. All of the prints are different, as would all performances of the piece be. I found the final layer of monoprints not as effective as I had hoped. I kept some images without this layer as the impact of the image was lessened by overcrowding. As an experienced performer, I know that in music solos, parts and sometimes whole sections of pieces would regularly be cut for exactly this reason, clarity of composition, and the image more clearly shows the head and bass motifs without the monoprint solos so I have kept some simpler.