Thursday, March 31, 2011
The Connectedness of Art + Music
In our recent interview with Michael Rios (which will be posted very soon), he elaborated to great length on the connection between art and music. While rooted together in their own nature of self-expression, the two mediums do contain their differences. Audiences engage fine art visually, while, on the other hand, music remains purely an audible engagement. Being an artist and musician, Michael showed us that all art, no matter what medium, is connected by and deals specifically with what he calls “spirituality”.
Wait, spirituality? How does spirituality factor into art?
Being a host to art galleries, I’m always interested in hearing artists, in their own words, ruminate on their own perspectives of art. Michael’s statement about art, about how it “fills people up, spiritually” seemed such an intriguing, yet simplistic take on art that I had never considered nor heard before. But how exactly did he arrive at this notion of spirituality being the essential framework for his artistry?
After we had sat down and talked with Michael in his studio for a while, he got up from his chair and moved over to the back corner of the room. There stood an amp and an older Gibson BB King signature “Lucille” guitar. He sat down on the nearby couch, plugged the guitar into the old amp, and started playing. And there we stood, watching him play his guitar as if he was hypnotized, his eyes closed as if to dig deep inside for each and every note. He kept playing, on and on, sliding through notes and scales fluidly as if possessed. And still we stood there, motionless in a gaze of sheer astonishment.
It wasn’t until that moment that we realized what exactly he meant by art relying on its spiritual essence to communicate to others. It was something you can’t explain, you can’t point out. No, it’s an intangible, something beyond human perception. Except that when it’s there, you feel it. It was this very essence of spirituality that he says he and Carlos both recognized, fostered and shared when it came to art, ultimately leading to collaboration after collaboration between the both of them.
Even just last year, Carlos touches briefly on the exact same point in an interview
(quote starts @ 10:16) with the SF Arts Commission:
“That’s when music is very liberating, this is why ‘Imagine’ is what it is…when you hear ‘Imagine’ [from] anywhere in the world…as soon as you hear the melody, people [sing] ‘and the world will be as one’…B.B. King, James Brown, and Cream… they were able to penetrate people’s hearts with the music…once you penetrate someone’s heart, something happens to their eyes–they become brighter, they get chills, they start crying, they don’t know why, they start dancing…”
After talking with Michael and watching the interview with Carlos, it seems that the very essence of art itself revolves around spirituality. As spirituality deals with the very truisms of the human experience that connect us all, art has to deal with the spiritual in order to fully communicate its meaning and have the power to resonate.
Alright, Summit people, exactly one more week til the opening reception…and be sure to stay tuned for our intriguing, exclusive video interview with Michael Rios, coming soon!
- matt delong, peek gallery