The Art of Music: Producing, Playing and Performing
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato
We all know that we use our hearing senses to listen to music, and it indeed is harder to see. It has, nonetheless, been depicted repeatedly throughout the history of art – visual art. Music is the art of sounds arranged together to create a composition that uses melody, harmony, timbre and rhythm as its key elements. Music is one of the oldest forms of art, and a universal one at that – all societies, even those with little to no knowledge of the language or the elements comprising it – can grasp its essence.
Definitions of music, in general terms, include elements such as pitch (melody and harmony), rhythm (which is associated with the tempo, meter, and articulation), the dynamics (the loudness and softness), and qualities of sound such as the timbre and texture. Of course, not all styles or types of music use those elements in the same type of combination. Some emphasize parts of these elements while relegating little or no importance to others. Music is rich and diverse; it has many styles and can be performed with complex instruments as well as nothing at all except your body – using your voice, your hands, your feet. Music pieces can be instrumental or vocal. The imagination of the creator is the only limit to the possibilities. As John Cage, a 20th-century American composer, music theorist, artist, would demonstrate to the public with his 1952 composition 4′33″, which was basically silence for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, a deliberate absence of song.
“There is no noise, only sound.” John Cage
The ways of performing and creating music – as well as sometimes the definition itself – will vary depending on the social context. As with any form of art, pushing the boundaries of what is previously known and recognized as music might find itself receiving a (un)fair dose of criticism. Even Beethoven wasn’t perceived as having created music when he came up with Grosse Fuge. Jazz also faced testing time. Music is usually defined in genres and sub-genres in the same way that art – visual art – is defined by period. Another critical evolution in music is how we consume it. From performance being the only way we could enjoy listening to music to records, vinyl’s, cassette and now in digital form. The evolution of music has been deeply impacted and profoundly changed by its dissemination mediums.
Every period has its relation to music. From carefully crafted compositions to improvisation, music has been performed from ancient times till today. It has evolved, changed, documented, recorded, analyzed, and studied, used for therapeutic purposes and entertainment. It can be performed by an amateur or as a professional. And while it can be the affair expressed or experienced by a single human being, music is more often than not a collective creation. Find some inspiration (or wisdom) in how Lady Gaga perceives the role of music;
“When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time.” ― Lady Gaga
Finally, recent times have proven that collaboration between music and other artists is fruitful and that nobody likes to be put in only one box. Kings of Leon released their latest album, When You See Yourself, last week, and they were one of the first bands to do it in the form of a non-fungible token. The sale yield more than $2 million. The buyers were acquiring the album as well as a unique token containing exclusive album artwork and limited edition ‘Golden Eye’ vinyl. The best part of it? The band decided to give part of what they made with this sale to help other music industry players, giving $5000,000 to Live Nation’s Crew Nation fund, which supports live music crew who the global pandemic has hardly impacted.
Another exciting mix between (visual) art, music, NFTs and car design, and showing us that in today’s world, support and collaboration are producing the best outcome possible is the story about 3lau – Justin David Blau – an American DJ, musician and producer who also sold some of his musical output in the form of NFT’s and got $11.6 million richer. While he could have enjoyed the fruit of his labour, he decided to create opportunities for other creatives like .ART community member avxd.art, Alexander Demidov, who will design the first Tesla cybertruck commission. We can’t wait to see where this project will lead to.
As the world borders shut months ago (and again more recently in some areas…), creativity is currently reaching new summits, and it is inspiring. The world is our new cyberoyster!
We couldn’t discuss music and not make some harmonious noise about our talented community. We’re proud to host many amazing artists who chose .ART as their online home. Here, we put the spotlight on their extraordinary talents.
Based in New Zealand, Modi Deng started her orchestral life as a pianist aged just eleven. Currently, she is crafting her art further by studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Her talent has offered her many opportunities, in which she performed with New Zealand’s major orchestras and gave concerts broadcasts by RNZ Concert & SOUNZ Centre of New Zealand Music. Her achievement also included receiving first prize in the 2018 National Concerto Competition.
Filippo FabbriFilippo Fabri wears several hats: he is a composer, orchestrator and researcher. He is the mastermind behind the sound universe of films, theatre plays, and contemporary art installations. Furthermore, this multidisciplinary artist has not only obtained a doctorate in applied physics but also in Systems Engineering. If this wasn’t enough, he challenged himself further and completed piano studies at the same time. Fabbri is a multi-instrumentalist and sound artist who founded and directs the Professional License “Sound and Image Techniques” at French IUT de Cachan.
Melissa Gueiros is an interdisciplinary Brazilian artist, predominantly focused on drum art. She aims to merge music with visual arts. Her “about” section on her website features a song entitled “Who am I?” in which she explains that: “With the purpose to give an experience of Spiritual freedom, an opportunity to experience the impossible and bring people together just to give hope for moments like this where are physically stuck. […] And just because I cannot make myself stop creating and I just can’t stop making noise!”
Based in Kaliningrad, Russia, the talented Maxim Imanou is a cross-disciplinary artist and music producer. He has opted for a critical, conceptual and performative approach, through which he investigates the interaction between the world and consciousness. He works with hybrid mediums and forms. He exhibited at the Electromuseum(Moscow), Kaliningrad Art Museum and Ajacs (Vladivostok). Imanou has also hosted workshops on the subject of experimental music production techniques.
The American soprano, Lauren Urquhart, who’s currently based in Austria, has been a soloist at the Volksoper Wien since 2019/20. It is worth mentioning that she was hired as one of the ensemble’s youngest ever members. Moving to Europe was a turning point in her career — she has, since then, developed a speciality in singing new music. She will make several debuts in the coming season at the Volksoper, such as the role of Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel and the one of Adele in Die Fledermaus.
ABOUT THIS SECTION
.ART Domains has always been dedicated to connect, empower, and support its community members, as well as foster a sense of belonging to the art world. This new section celebrates creators that have recently joined our community. It is our way to give back and shine a light on amazing creatives, especially in these testing times! If you would like to be feature in a post please look at our submission guidelines here.