...this inspires me
Putting together a list like this is like trying to count every single number. Once you start, there's no stopping, theres' always another one just a step away. Yet it remains true that 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step', and, in the words of Matisse, 'Inspiration comes while you are working.' In that spirit...I begin...
some quotes...(more soon)
'To be conscious is not to be in time' TS Eliot
'It is enough to invent signs. When you have a real feeling for nature, you can create signs which are equivalents to both the artist and the spectator' Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse 'What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something which provides relaxation from fatigues and toils'
...in a letter from Mozart to his father regarding three piano concertos he had just completed, ' They are exactly between too hard and too easy. Very brilliant, pleasing to the ear, naturally without lapsing into emptiness, here and there only connoisseurs will find satisfaction, but in such a way that even non-connoisseurs must feel content without knowing why.'
The penultimate sentence in closing the classic text 'The Sense of Order' by the late renouned art historian EH Gombrich, which reads, 'Maybe we would be more likely to achieve a new language of form if we were less obsessed with novelty and change.'
'Suppose radiation were to be permitted only when there is both a source and a receiver.' ~James Gleick, in (a biography on Richard Feynman) Genius.
French mathematician, Poincaré (1854-1912), 'At the moment I put my foot on the step, the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it...I did not verify the idea; I should not have had time, as upon taking my seat in the omnibus, I went on with a conversation already commenced, but I felt a perfect certainty.' ~
Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), Nobel Prize, physics, 1933. Unquestionably, he was one of the greatest luminaries of the 20th century.
MC Escher (1898-1972) in Escher on Escher, 'When I feel an object with my hands, it is not the spatial object itself. Space remains inscrutable, a miracle.'
...more to be added shortly...
Baroque music, especially the music of JS Bach (a music-arts-science-maths genius). The choral work is out of this world. The organ music, a phenomenon. The polyphony, in short, his entire musical oeuvre is a portal within the panoply of culture to new dimensions.
Classical music, WA Mozart - paragon of the classical tonal system of musical composition. As a child I was not so enamoured of his music but over the years I began to hear dimensions hidden within dimensions within dimensions... Asymmetric balance in the classical music form epitomised. A genius of melodic tapestries, modulations, surprising twists, turns, and incredibly natural 'returns' - a master of 'the circle' (in a Zen sense).
Transitional period: L van Beethoven - thunder of the orchestra extending to the serene exquisite sensitivity of the 'Pathétique'. A huge dynamic range of expression from a single composer and from the limited means at his disposal. Added to this is the monumental Ninth symphony written when he was completely deaf. Yet there in the midst of his artistic agony arose, like a phoenix from the ashes, his Ode to Joy
Romantic Period: The French composer, Camille Saint-Saëns. I have painted more studio pieces (especially in the eighties and nineties) to his Symphony # 3 "The Organ Symphony" than to any other single piece of music. In this symphony, Saint-Saëns breaks with the traditional four-movement form and instead constructs the work around two main movements. The orchestration is grand in breadth even in the quieter passages, always cavernous, rich, spatial. The first movement has some very broad melodic forms that have the rare ability to grow on you upon further listenings and are generous in orchestral texture (Saint-Saen's strength) and focus more on chromatic swells and sonic subsidences. After lulling his audience into a trance by the timeless and aquiescing zero-point of the first movement, the second opens dramatically with a startling insistent motif from the strings that resonates powerfully with the opening of Beethoven's famous fifth symphony. This motif is metamorphosed and churned like a Shakespearean boiling broth, through various iterations, until once again there is a gradual slowing, cooling, settling into a foggy stillness and silence—the perfect foil against which Saint-Saëns can present his main thesis, his pièce de résistance. A sonic wall of sound bursts from out of the silence like thunder crackling and rumbling around lightning. Sustained and massive chords emanate in all directions as the the pipe organ imposes its tumult in a tyranny of successive and ever-higher spires of sound that stretch skywards and, via the buttresses of massive bass pipes, to subterraneum depths causing a physical quaking of the theatre. The orchestra now stretches in saccadic horizons like an epic landscape. Following a resonant conjunction of orchestra and organ, the piano at last has its turn, its ebony form delineated under the turning twisting laser-accurate precision of Saint-Saëns' sculptural sonic genius. Rippling, cascading, fleeting, the piano introduces the composer's final thematic material. This theme is echoed and tossed around the orchestra, to the organ loft, back down again, around once more—Saint-Saëns finally, it seems, exhausted yet 'convinced he has convinced us all'. He closes with the measured scalar descent of his mountain that only a grand master of orchestration could manage, and, upon reaching the tonic of the scale, he appears to pay a final tribute by way of a trumpet fanfare to the grand classical legacy upon which he has built this unique work.
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