Visualize Abruptly Changing Tempos

Jeremy Harrison, the artist

 Surreal Space

The abruptly changing tempos and pitches in Peter’s piece have a huge effect on how I move my brush. It might have been nice to have hit strokes on those high pitched chords but I like what happens with the red lines during the fast, low pitched runs. Song of Wrongs-beginning of painting 

While speeding up their paths along with the music, the lines become fatter giving them a strange three-dimensional quality.The whole painting, though abstract, has a surreal spatial quality that I really like.

Peter Saltzman, headshot

Painting Rhythm vs. Musical Rhythm

Jeremy picks up on something really vital here: painting rhythm. When we play music with two or more people, we rely on an underlying beat, tempo, to keep the band together. Even if there is no obvious beat, as is the case with this rubato improv, there is a perceived sense of rhythm. Sometimes we rely on visual cues to keep it together, but more often it’s just an “energy in the room” type of thing. I never really thought about painting in terms of rhythm, but what Jeremy does here with his squiggly red lines in reaction to my surprising little musical bursts of energy is amazing. It’s almost a new kind of visual music, painted dance, whatever you want to call it. (We need a new word!) Jeremy says “it might have been nice to have hit those high pitched chords” but he does it one better: he reacts to them in a highly improvisatory way. It’s a new kind of duet.

Jeremy Harrison, the artistDramatic Expansion

I can’t remember how many attempts I made before arriving at this video-painting but I really felt good about this one when I watched it for the first time.

Song of Wrongs mid-paintingAlthough I am a little late with the vertical slash of orange paint, I love the afterlife of that stroke. The orange and red paint are mixed with less water(more pigment) than the blue and green, so when the strokes hit the surface they expand dramatically into the wet field.

About the Artists

Jeremy Harrison, the artistJeremy Harrison recently retired from teaching art at The Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts where he joined the faculty in 1988.  His teaching included drawing, painting, printmaking, and digital photography.  He earned a BA from Kenyon College in 1982 double majoring in studio art and religion. He earned his MFA from the University of Iowa in 1985 majoring in printmaking and minoring in drawing. Inspiration for his landscape images comes from his experiences in the wildernesses of Canada, the Adirondacks, and Maine. An experienced canoeist, he helped lead a six-man, 800-mile canoe journey across the Canadian tundra to the Arctic Ocean. He continues to canoe and hike in Maine, Massachusetts, and the Adirondacks while making paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs as often as possible.
Peter Saltzman, headshotWith a deep jazz-and-blues core, Peter Saltzman has produced a broad career in the music industry as composer, pianist, singer-songwriter, and author. Various ensembles have performed and recorded his work globally—the Czech National Symphony Orchestra recorded his orchestral dance suite “Walls” (1996), and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre performed “Walls” during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The Dallas Morning News reviewed Saltzman’s music as “powerful stuff.” His second album, Kabbalah Blues/Quantum Funk (2000), earned critical acclaim for its jazz/classical/pop fusion, hailed as “ambitious, richly layered, wonderfully accessible.” Saltzman studied jazz at Indiana University (Bloomington) and composition at Eastman School of Music. He was an adjunct professor of music at Columbia College Chicago, where he taught music technology and piano. His concert works are published by Oxford University Press; his film and television works are published by Wild Whirled Music. Saltzman’s music has been licensed for television shows, jingles, and industrials, including My Name is Earl (NBC, 2006).

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