Colour & Music Links

“It’s about that Time.”

My work at the moment explores in greater depth the concept of and the wider theme of time in painting via performance. In the coming months I shall be working on a film, and planning performances for next year exploring this theme of time, sound and the site specific nature of my painting. The use of the spaces, which I use and which surround me will be the focus of this. I will use it to enhance  performances.

With Bluebells in the Spring


A couple of months ago I attended a great viewing of some restored visual music films, As well as the wondrous Jordan Belson “Quartet” and Oskar Fischinger works, there was also a mesmerising piece by John Cage in collaboration with Richard Lippold, which documented a Kinetic art sculpture. Whilst viewing these films, especially the silent ones by Belson, I completely lost all sense of time. Though quite short works, In Belson’s work in particular I could see so many different paintings and references, it was amazingly rich and dense and timeless in all senses.

I also recently viewed the fascinating Psychedelia (Reflections from a damaged life) show at Raven Row, which made reference to time, where there were films drawn from a wide spectrum with more work from Jordan Belson, the Otolith Group amongst others and a great Pierre Huyghe light show. Apparently influenced by a Pink Floyd show, it reminded me of the dancefloor at Fabric nightclub, where I had been to the previous night though on a much smaller scale and with Erik Satie rather than throbbing beats. I am also looking at James Whitney’s work, and I have been looking at his groundbreaking early work linking music, senses, shape and colour, whose work is fractal like. Many years ago, I went to a fascinating talk by the composer Robert Sherlaw Johnson about Fractals in sound form and the music of which he wrote and composed. Speaking of composition, just this week, I received some notation of the pieces of Messiaen’s music to which I have worked closely with. I am looking at this notation and tying them with the passages of painting that I remember, looking at the colours, textures and seeing the written notation together is invigorating, and I feel will inspire a new body of works.

Quartet for the End of Time.

Quartet for the End of Time

I am also discovering the incredible groundbreaking and neglected work of the Gutai movement and particularly the work of Atsuko Tanaka and Shiraga Kazou, that continues to fascinate and inspire me at the moment. I see so many resonances from these areas of creating within my own work. Looking at the wonderful catalogue to the recent “Splendid Playground” exhibition, it is eye opening to see how influential and fruitful this work still looks, though much of it being produced so long ago. It is incredible to me that there is only one book translated to English on this amazing movement, and to my knowledge not one big show in Europe on the group….How come??  On a performance theme, I am excited also to hear about the forthcoming Gustav Metzger show, taking place next year at Kettles Yard in Cambridge. His work I believe continues to be greatly potent and relevant today.

One of my favourite Miles Davis works is a minimal piece called ‘It’s about that Time‘  and I was recently given gift the new book of Miles Davis’s paintings, which I had overlooked before, and how wonderful they are to discover as new. I have also been looking/listening to  Oliver Lake and his Trio 3, Lake  both paints and improvises. As always it is at the ‘cusp of improvisation’, where artforms join intersect and divide in that moment of performance, which continues to fascinate me, capturing those all important transitory moments in performance and time.  On what would have been Olivier Messiaen’s 105th birthday, I cant help but think of his great masterpiece Quartet for the End of Time, which I have worked with many times. In this piece its as if one time is created working within another notated time frame.


Trio 3 with Jason Moran.

Oliver Lake Complete recordings

Morton Feldman- Patterns in a Chromatic Field.


Visual Music-Brian Eno.

Gutai -Splendid Playground-

Image, Music Text-Roland Barthes.

Paul Klee Catalogue.

Misrolav Holub. Complete poems.

POSTED: 12/10/13 10:57 PM