Affinity with Music

01.02.2013 § Leave a comment

Symphonic Collection Inspiration


I volunteered to be an art teacher at day camps quite a few times through my youth and during my children’s adolescent years. Besides typical art projects such as still-life painting or going outside to paint landscapes, I later decided to inspire the children to experience the artistic elements. One time I had them draw the feelings aroused by touching contrasting materials, such as hard angular rocks compared to soft cotton or fur.

At one of the children’s camps that my sons attended, I decided to have the children draw music. So I selected some different types of music, played them in the class and asked the children to pick a musical piece and draw the feeling of it. The children drew the rhythm of jazz, the tone of classical and the hotness of rock music. I was impressed by how well they captured the essence of each kind of music; I realized that many children possess artistic talents, the only differences being whether one chooses to tread the path of an artist or not.

My older son’s drawing from that class was pinned up on my office board for a long time. Now that I have moved my studio/office three times, I don’t remember where I stored it, but the idea of drawing music is always in my mind. I sometimes unconsciously compare visual phenomena to musical elements: trying to draw “rhythm,”  borrowing the format of fugue in composition. Sometimes when I critique my design staff’s work, I borrow quartet playing as a simile to express my views.


Some of the pieces in the spring 2013 Symphonic Collection depict this abstract feeling of music, such as Gliss, short for “glissando.”  It is a glide from one pitch to another when singing or playing instruments. Although considered bad taste if one uses too much glissando, it adds character when used effectively. The Gliss pattern has a calendared finish to create that smoothened feeling.


Staccato is rendered more literally although it turns into a texture when viewed from a distance; nonetheless, that’s where the idea started. As for Vibrato, in my mind, there are two ways of expressing the feeling of vibrato. One feeling of the sound could be wavy lines; Vibrato in this collection is more of an imagination of the sound waves.

Vibrato 02

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