I attended the Cascadia viol workshop featuring Wendy Gillespie on 20th January, 2018 at Willamette University in Salem. Wendy was presenting the Peaceable Consort Music of Lassus, Ferrabosco I, and more music based on the Plainchant Da Pacem Bomine. The theme of the event was to encourage the appreciation, performance, as well as the study of Viola and other related music in Willamette valley. As such, the Cascadia Viol sponsor and promotes workshops, concerts, play days, and other events involving all sizes of viols.
The event was graced by lovers of viola da gamba music, especially people from the Oregon community. There were various instruments present in the venue including the guitars, piano as well as trumpets. However, the main act incorporated a viola da gamba. During the performance, the artists (violist and pianist) seemed to easily understand each other intentions. Additionally, the theme of the performance was enhanced by the deemed lighting of the room as well as the wall hangings of legend violists.
Consequently, the performance was very authentic, trying to pass a message of the principle chamber music of the 16th and the 18th century. Hence, the event endeavored to cultivate a delicate, refined beauty, which is conceivably difficult to experience in the contemporary loud and fast paced world. Initially, this motive is presented by the piano and accompanied by the lower register of the viola; but later, it is sometimes accompanied by the higher notes of the viola, sometimes stated by the viola with piano accompaniment. Towards the end, this motive is cleverly combined with the opening melody. The end result of such recombination of instruments is a musical fantasy lacking any obvious overarching structure, but possessing a reflective, dreamy quality that is at once charming and hypnotizing.
The viol Repertoire incorporate lovely and idiom music that I believe many people would enjoy. The event is one of the most interesting escapades I have experienced this year, and I am looking forward to attend the next upcoming viola event. It has made me reconsider the negative conception I had about viola. Not maligning the instrument, I previously thought the posture and the sedentary nature of playing the instrument dreary as well as encaptivating. However, after attending the event, I have learnt that listening to music involves more than the typical act of dancing and listening to words. It involves conceptualizing on presentation to enhance the theme, meaning, as well as experience. Additionally, I previously prejudiced the viola to lack the brightness of the violin and the powerful sonority of the cello, hence a subservient instrument dedicated to fill the intermediate harmonic void between the violin and the cello. However, the performance was beautiful and the sonorous music disregarded my previous notion.
Virtual art event
I had also attended the Ann Flack Boseman Gallery on 26 February, 2018 at The Higgins Bedford and found some very fascinating art pieces. The event was brought to Bedford by Anne Frank Trust which forms a central part of Bedford’s Holocaust Memorial events. It was about an exhibition of family photographs captured before the Second World War. Previously, it was exhibited in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and New York, Amsterdam, as well as Frankfurt. The event also incorporated a collection of period toys, clothes, and books, portraying those captured in the photos and educational resources for young visitors.
The event was graced by audience of different age groups endeavoring to learn history through art. Subsequently, just like the stage background brings out the theme of the music, color background tell the story behind the painting. The first painting, by Lauren Lee, was called ‘Beautiful Boy’. It was acrylic on a big canvas. What really caught my attention were the vibrant colors. The texture and shading of the picture, boy’s face, were smooth in order to maintain a sense of realism and avoid abstraction. The skin tone was yellow, but had so many subtle variations of the yellow, accounting for shadows and highlights. The subtle gradients were so smooth and the effect interesting.
To the left of the boy’s picture was another face. This, however, was a little more abstract, with ‘random’ brushstrokes of varying colors and thickness as well as texture. It was aptly titled “Spontaneous Reality”. Also unlike “Beautiful Boy”, the painting was on a horizontal rectangle Masonite. The Masonite and the style of brushing seemed to hold the paint in a very different way than the canvas. Both paintings encompassed proportionate and ‘realistic’ portraits, but the painting on Masonite had a glossy sheen between the globs of paint, where as “Beautiful Boy” had a soft even texture, depicting different social and economic backgrounds. Additionally, the arrangements of the paintings and sculptures, implied to show a certain order of events and occurrences.
Such paintings, including the Doug Sisk piece with blurry outlines of colors encouraged how I view certain in things in life. The event also made me embrace the stories behind each art of work I came across. Additionally, I realized virtual arts and music have a connection, and that there is always a story behind each piece of art or music. Ultimately, it is imperative to consider and contextualize the background as well as the venue to bring out the intended theme.