The Music EP
The Inbetween Distance and Connection EP is now available on all major streaming platforms. Listen here on Youtube or here on Spotify
If you want the full audiovisual experience, we recommend also immersing yourself into the painting while listening to the music. Scroll down for a full view of the painting or clicking here for a zoomable version of the painting
Here you can watch a short video of Mathias talking about how the EP came to life.
In 2020, right before the pandemic hit, I got involved in a group exhibition project. The exhibition theme was still to be determined but with the emerging pandemic an inescapable topic presented itself. Inbetween Distance and Connection.
Simultaneously, during these unfamiliar weeks of the first German lockdown, my partner Mathias had started composing a musical opus – to channel his own ambivalent emotions of this internationally shared experience into a creative project. When we talked about our respective projects and discovered that we were essentially both working on individual artworks under the same theme, we decided to team up. So while Mathias was still creating and recording the instrumental, I further developed the conceptual side of our project and recorded the spoken narration for the musical piece. Rico Latzel was the first sounding board for Mathias' initial plot outline and also contributed most of the bass lines.
But this was only one piece of our envisioned artwork. We wanted to present a multidisciplinary piece at the exhibition. An audiovisual narration. An artwork with both auditory as well as visual elements. Sound and sight responding to each other, leading to a multisensory exchange which synergetically creates a new entity altogether. With the story in mind, narrated in seven chapters, I set out to plan the visual side of our multi-media artwork in my sketchbook. A large scale mixed-media painting that captured the energy of each chapter's music and storyline in colour and shapes.
As soon as the composition process was finished and Mathias had provided me with the first rough mix, I set about the painting process on the 320x220 cm sized canvas. What fascinated me, was the question how a sequence of incidents could be portrayed in a single piece of visual art. How a painting, that can be viewed with one glance, may also tell the story of a series of events.
Below you can read more about how I answered this question for myself and also get a more detailed insight into the individual steps of the painting creation.
- visualizing the circular energy of the storyline
- showing the interconnectedness and overlapping of each of the chapters (parts)
- capturing the energy of each chapter's music and storyline
To capture the circular storyline/energy of the song and to show the interconnectedness and overlapping of each of the parts I planned the painting as a kind of circle moving clockwise around the canvas while the story progresses. I planned this "circular" approach in my notebook. Soaking up the music and feeling my way into putting each chapters energy into words that could then be transformed into a large scale painting. Assigning colours to the energies present in each chapter, but also trying to find the "bridges", as I called them in my sketchbook, that would serve as a connection between the chapters.
2) Canvas: (Inbetween)
As planned in my sketchbook, I divided the canvas into the six(seven) parts with pencil so I'd have a rough idea of where the chapters were moving into one another. Where the energies were changing, picking up, slowing down. I had the song on replay for hours to soak it up and transform it into its visual form. Painting away, letting the audio flow through me and my hands and onto the canvas. Though the color schemes were pre-planned and pre-mixed, the general shapes and transitions were a free-flowing process. I let the music and the story guide me, let my movements respond to the music, resulting into visual depictions of the sound.
3) Re-evaluation: (Distance)
Things got off to a great start. But after hours of painting I wasn't too happy with how it looked. It felt a bit chaotic and unfocused because I had wanted to give each of the parts it own space. But by doing that, it seemed like they were rivaling each other for attention. Again, I was faced with the challenge of visualizing a series of events while having the whole story visually present all the time. I then took a short dinner break and an idea came to me.
4) Re-structuring: (Re-Connection)
The rough structure I had initially provided the painting with (through my pencil marks) was of course no longer visible beneath all the layers of paint. And while I felt that the transitions between the chapters were visible through the variations in color and dynamics, I still felt that the artwork as a whole might benefit from clearer visual breaks, elevating each chapter in its own right. Framing each chapter as its own little artwork, while still maintaining the concept of their connection and contribution to each other to make up the big picture. Something inbetween distance and connection. Accentuating without separating. Highlighting the center, the core of each chapter without extinguishing the important aspect of their transitions into each other. I continued the process with taping off the "chapters" visual frames in different widths and with the frames moving into each other. A clearer path emerging.
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