This morning because I felt the need to be restored to center, I found myself listening to Terry Riley’s “IN C”, and re reading from “Susan McClary “Rap, Minimalism and Structures of Time in Late Twentieth-Century Culture.” in Audio Culture, Daniel Warner, ed, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, pp 289 – 298.” (Yes, I guess I am a little geeky when it comes to my reading habits). What struck me, although I am using it out of context, is her phrase “subjective struggle toward triumph”.
Repetition and geometry have helped me “center” (thus avoiding struggle) over my whole lifetime: saying the Rosary, looking carefully at the elegant design of flowers, dancing, taking joy in understanding equations, and being attentive to the comfort I find in the structure of Minimalistic music. The exhaustion from my strong emotional response to the pain and brokenness in society as the sides “struggle toward triumph”, has directed me back to the nurture I find in the cyclic repetition and geometry of the music of Terry Riley.
12″x12″ Silk on linen with hemp, cotton metallic thread and floss
This was created specifically to sell at the Museum Shop of the Montclair Art Museum to go with my piece on display in their New Directions in Fiber Art Show. And thankfully it sold within five minutes of the shop opening on the first night of the exhibition.
“Music in Curved Entrances” is inspired by the music of minimalist composer Terry Riley from the 1970’s films, “Les Yeux Fermés & Lifespan”. My work is hand-sewn and embroidered fabric art, made in silk and linen with elements of shiny metallic floss and thread. The tactility, structure, and sheen of the fabric and thread form an integral part of how I “see” and engage with Riley’s looping phrases that tumble over each other. The touch of rough and smooth textures, the brightness of silks, the matte finish of linens, and the sparkle of metallic threads all reflect my synesthesia while satisfying my other senses as I work.
My hope is that this work allows the viewer to share the energy and joy I experience as I listen to music.
This is truly one of my lifetime most favorite pieces of music!! Terry Riley takes me on an extremely colorful, endlessly fascinating journey. Unlike many of my sound inspired pieces which are usually 10 second slices of what I, as a synesthete see, this is a general gestalt of the bones of the entire “trip”.
This represents only about 10 seconds of the 1971 “Anthrax” album recording of the wonderfully swirling, cyclical mantras of Terry Riley’s Sax, and the piano’s oceanic roll by John Cale, (famous for his membership in the Velvet Underground).
Image below was the first small model for the large piece above. Silk, cotton and metallic thread and floss, 12″x12″