Friday, September 6, 2013

Thought for The Day - Name That Tune

I had a conversation with a coworker not too long ago about art, specifically abstract art. Most of my work is expressionist, very vibrant colors, with subtle turns in shades of blues, greens and oranges. For me, it's my palette, it's the very colors that come from my soul and I wouldn't have it any other way!

He was interested in knowing what it all means, why the shapes and colors form as they do. He said "I really want to know." I took a few seconds to consider how to respond, since I have considered the question myself. I have wondered how, especially jazz musicians come up with the titles for their songs and other visual artist give names to pieces. I've wondered, while in process, what "this piece" means to me and in "naming it," what message would the designation communicate to the observer. I told my coworker that for me, the process of naming the work, the telling of the message hidden in shape and colors is a matter of naming the story or idea. It is sharing my vision, my perspective with my audience. At the time, I didn't feel my explanation to be adequate, but as I have learned, any given moment is a puzzle piece for the whole of life.

But it dawned on me just recently, that while we love naming, quantifying and measuring everything around us, you or I can barely put a name on the impression a song leaves on you. In this moment, I'm listening to one of my favorite artists: Robert Glasper with a song 'entitled:' "Y'Otta Praise Him." Now the beat has samples of Christian flavored songs, but the beats are subtle, with my favorite improvisation runs jazz musicians are famous for. I could listen to music all day...and I could paint all day...and I could sit in the middle of good conversations with great people all day...but I can't name that tune; I simply live it. Some songs bring up memories, others, story ideas or Friday night dates, but name that tune? No, I would rather enjoy the moment.