Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dancing Architecture

Frank Stella, from his Scarlatti Kirkpatrick series (2006--ongoing)
All images copyright to the artist and/or his representative(s); images used here solely for purposes of commentary, i.e., non-commercial usage.

I always chuckle at the statement-- variously attributed to Martin Mull, Frank Zappa and several other musicians-- that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" (click here).   I admire its glibness, but I do not agree; too precious, too clever by half, in my opinion.  Why shouldn't we cross those hoary boundaries?

Was recently reminded of this, seeing one of Stella's Scarlatti Kirkpatrick pieces at the Museum of Art & Design in NYC.   Stella bases his series on both the 17th-century Italian composer Scarlatti and on Yale musicologist & harpsichordist  Ralph Kirkpatrick, who authored the definitive catalog of Scarlatti's work in 1953.

As Stella says:  "If you follow an edge of a given work visually, and follow it through quickly, you find the sense of rhythm and movement that you get in music."

Click here for more on the Stella series.  

And here for a little Scarlatti.

No comments: