The Art of Making Art: The Visual Arts Inspire the Musical Arts for New Music Ensemble Concert

Left to Right: Rebecca Allan, "Vernal Pool, Ferns" (2009); Georgia O'Keeffe, "Radiator Building" (1924); Jackson Pollock, "No. 5" (1948)
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Left to Right: Rebecca Allan, "Vernal Pool, Ferns" (2009); Georgia O'Keeffe, "Radiator Building" (1924); Jackson Pollock, "No. 5" (1948)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas New Music Ensemble will open its fall concert series with “Brush Strokes and Music Notes” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, in the Fine Arts Center's Stella Boyle Concert Hall. The concert will feature three works inspired by visual art: Laura Kamisky's composition, Horizon Lines,  Ladder to the Moon, by Michael Daugherty and Matthew Tommasini's Torn Canvases. The public is invited and admission is free. 

The concert will begin with Horizon Lines featuring faculty members Theresa Delaplain, instructor of oboe, and Lia Uribe, assistant professor of bassoon, and Miloslava Panayotova, instructor of piano. A film highlighting the work of Rebecca Allan will accompany the piece.   

Allan has described her work as “rooted in the changing cycles of nature as well as a deep curiosity about science and the forces underlying what we observe on the surface of things.” The New York City-based artist’s work has focused on exploring the natural world of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest and Gulf Coast.

Inspired by American artist Georgia O'Keeffe, Ladder to the Moon is a work for solo violin, wind octet, double bass and percussion. Er-Gene Kahng, associate professor of violin, will be featured in this performance.

O'Keeffe, recognized as the mother of the American modernist movement, traveled throughout the United States looking for inspiration. From New York to New Mexico, O'Keeffe sought to depict the starkest realities of the human condition using a style all her own. The performance will include Saxton Esposito, a senior in the Department of Art, who will paint while the ensemble plays Daugherty’s composition.

"One goal of the New Music Ensemble is to highlight our terrific music faculty here at the university,” said Jamal Duncan, director of the ensemble. “Horizon Lines and Ladder to the Moon offer the audience as well as our students an opportunity to hear these first-rate artists. For the students in the ensemble, it becomes an incredibly special opportunity to see how a master player works in rehearsal and performance."

The concert will conclude with Torn Canvases. Heavily influenced by the abstract expressionist movement, Tommasini's composition derives much of its style from Jackson Pollock. Pollock's unconventional method of drip painting ensured that any piece he produced was indelibly his own. 

Often called “action painting,” the style produces images through the kinetic movements of the human body rather than methodical and deliberate brush strokes. The outcome was often frantic and messy, but was imbued with something much closer to the human essence. This fragmented method is echoed in the divided instrumentation in Torn Canvases, which like Pollock's paintings, form something greater than the sum of its parts.


Robert Hopper, associate director of operations
University of Arkansas Bands

Darinda Sharp, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences


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