Before I started taking painting and drawing seriously I used music as a form of expression, playing guitar, harmonica and drums as well as writing music and lyrics. These musical influences have never really left me, they have just be vying for my attention along with painting and drawing throughout the years. Sometimes even working together in such creations as installation pieces or even animated digital sound tracks. Perhaps, even influencing specific painting projects. For many years painting and drawing held a significant percentage of my attention and satisfied my creative urges.
I started producing digital soundtracks for various video art pieces that I was making at university. I sampled and manipulated sounds to create original soundscapes. It felt like I was was creating some sort of audio magic. My interest developed further into creating standalone digital music tracks, using sampled, looped and adjusted sounds.
After a number of years of exhibiting my art and trying to make a living out of my paintings I decided to switch my focus. I absorbed myself into making digital music, I was also at this time regularly performing in a funk band as a turn-tablist. Over the next few years I produced enough music to complete more than three albums of original digital music and soundtracks. It was around this time I enrolled for a M.A. in Electronic media at Oxford Brookes university, in an attempt to validate my skills, experience and interests.
(digital representation of bass notes, reversed)
I haven't forgotten, the title of this post is "Sound Inspired" (same name as the gallery on art4oka.com where you'll find relevant pictures.) I figured background was important. As I am sure you appreciate, producing and editing any music whether analogue or digital takes time. With the digital stuff it is hours staring at a screen and listening intently for the slightest glitch. Hours race by and suddenly it is 4 o'clock in the morning, again! Visual digital representations of sounds burnt into your brain, it becomes your world, your environment. after a "session" I often would write poetry or prose reflecting my experience and/or relationship with the computer as a creative tool. I will publish some of these in a later post. I also sketched drawings on scraps of paper whilst listening to playbacks of the sounds I was making. Inspired by the moods created, the suddenness of the rhythms and even the shapes of the individual sound's graphic representation. I have used these rough drawings to later inspire larger paintings some of which are on display in the "Sound Inspired" gallery.
(clanging birds, drawing - Wide Draw gallery - art4oka.com)
(clanging birds, acrylic and charcoal on paper - Sound Inspired gallery -art4oka.com)
Another one of my influences of the "sound inspired" painting project occurred when I saw some drawings made by young children. They were a part of a physiological study about children's visual interpretations of the world around them. The simplicity of the line and the power to communicate the meaning inspired me. We sometimes have a lot to unlearn. One of the artworks that started with this inspiration is "Expressive voices, dark noises ." Inspired by one child's drawing of someone coughing.
(Expressive voices, dark noises, acrylic on hardboard - Sound Inspired gallery -art4oka.com)