Sounds Like Art (2014 – )
Twelve years ago, when I was studying music in London and composing synth-based trance and electronica, I often thought about ways of combining the many forms of creative expression: dance, music, art, literature, theatre and so on. I was fascinated by the idea of enhancing one creative medium with another and remember having a conversation with a visual artist about combining artworks and music in a gallery exhibition in Hoxton. But the conversation never went further than just that: a conversation.
Through a combination of choice and circumstance, twelve years later I found myself living in Kent and leader Turner Contemporary’s resident choir, Thanet Big Sing Community Choir, Turner Contemporary is an inspiring location. Situated with a view of expansive sea from Margate’s harbour, yet juxtaposed with the stark contrast of a ghost town rebuilding itself after years in recession, the gallery provides a focus for Margate, absorbing its struggles whilst it regenerates and forges new pathways towards creativity.
Since my introduction to Turner Contemporary in 2011, the exposure to artworks on a regular basis, and my involvement with multi-disciplinary art projects through leading The Big Sing, have further developed my interest in combined art-forms. I have been fortunate to have worked with poet Lemn Sissay on his poem for Margate, to have composed and arranged music for the debut of Megan Henwood’s Collective Spirit song for the Margate Boat Project and more recently to have worked with Tania Holland on her Lachrymose project.
These experiences inevitably led to the conception of, and very real viability of developing Sounds Like Art. With the support of Turner Contemporary, in late 2013 I successfully obtained funding from Arts Council England to start the project. Although in its infancy, I hope to continue its development over the coming years and to test the boundaries of using both art and music as a combined medium towards creative expression.
What excites me about the project so far is that during its first stage, the composition of new choral music inspired by JMW Turner and Helen Frankenthaler, I have discovered that JMW Turner was heavily inspired by both poetry and music. He held artistic beliefs in using combined art-forms to enhance the sphere of understanding, appreciation and interpretation of his art.
I feel extremely fortunate to be in the position to develop Sounds Like Art. I am excited about working with new artists, exploring new methods of creativity and developing the project in years to come.