Applied Pure @ The Mathematical Institute

Music & Light Symbiosis | Piece no. 3

A proposal to curate an art exhibition of my photograms of water and natural phenomena combined with a music and light event at The Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford, November 2019.

The Art Exhibition of Photograms

A photo-montage proposal image of a ‘blown-up’ photogram “God | Drop” 2018 in the gallery space of the MI with the Maths students working.
A photo-montage proposal image of a ‘blown-up’ photogram “Shadow of Gold Cube and Blossom Triptych” 2018 in the gallery space of the MI with the Maths Students working.
A photo-montage proposal image of ‘blown-up’ photogram “Washing Hands Triptych” 2012 in the gallery space of the MI

The Photograms

(New work will be developed for this project as well as digitally enlarging already existing artworks)

Shadow of a Gold Cube and Blossom Triptych 2018 photogram
God | Drop 2012 photogram

How the Photograms are made

The Photograms are made by making a flash of light over light-sensitive photographic paper in a darkroom environment. The objects in the way, eg. the gold cube or my hands or water, refract/prevent the light from reaching the paper, so it remains white. The shadows therefore appear inverted; shadow remains white/grey and the light is seen as black.

Washing Hands Triptych, 2012 photogram

Music & Light Event

Like in previous Music & Light Symbiotic events, there will be a music performance curated to entwine with the artwork and the environment. I propose a concert of music played by the international concert harpsichordist Medea Bindwald.

Medea Bindwald photographed by Stuart Hollis

The concert will include pieces by the composer JS Bach. More music will be confirmed in due course. There may be music on the theme of water as well as by composers who are connected with Maths, like JS Bach.

Medea Bindwald playing JS Bach in All Saints’ Boughton Aluph Church in 2016
Lecture theatre L1 or L3 (the largest one)

Ideally the concert would take place in the lecture theatre and a projection of a film of water’s ripples would be projected over the white boards and over the harpsichord and Medea Bindwald playing.

Three examples of patterns off the water’s surface form Music & Light Symbiotic Event River Song, Oct 2018

Reflections off water pool during live performance of Music & Light Symbiosis | Piece no. 2 | River Song | JS Bach Prelude No. 1 in C major (BWV 846) | Rachel Hamilton – harp | Katharine Beaugié – water

Reflections off water pool during live performance of Music & Light Symbiosis | Piece no. 2 | River Song | Irish Folk Tune | My Lagan Love arranged by Hamilton Harry for harp, with cello improvisation | Rachel Hamilton – harp, Mike Bacon – cello | Joseph Black (left) and Miranda Carter (right) – water
Reflections off water pool during live performance of Music & Light Symbiosis | Piece no. 2 | River Song | JS Bach Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, Sarrabande | Mike Bacon – cello | Joseph Black – water

Music & Maths

Music and maths have been integral to each other since Pythagoras, (570-493 BCE) the Greek philosopher and mathematician developed numeric ratios between notes and developed theories on how these affected the harmony of the music.

Pythagoras then went on to connect a possible mathematical relationship between music and the ‘heavenly bodies’; the Earth, the Moon, planets and fixed stars. He called this relationship “Music of the Spheres”.

Plato (427-348 BCE) was quoted of saying that music should not be judged by how much pleasure it gave, but whether it allowed harmony and order into the soul.

Links to articles connecting Maths (and Physics) with Music (and water)

Possible Music Choices for the MI Event

Schattenreise · Penelope Cave Shadow Journey (21st Century Harpsichord Music) ℗ Prima Facie Released on: 2015-05-18 Composer: Enno Kastens
J S Bach: Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Variation 25. Robert Hill, harpsichord 18 Oct 2014

Scarlatti | Sonata G minor (cat’s fugue) K30 – L499 | harpsichord: Colin Booth
Domenico Scarlatti | Adagio e cantabile en A Major K 208 | Scott Ross harpsichord
Scarlatti – Sonata K. 213 in d minor (Andante) | Gerard van Reenen harpsichord

Scarlatti | Keyboard Sonata in F Minor, Kk. 69 | Harpsichord Jean Rondeau
Chaconne from Partita No.2 for violin BWV 1004, transcribed for piano by Johannes Brahms, and played by Jean Rondeau with two hands on harpsichord

So the projected conclusion:

The entire music & light symbiotic experience with the huge black and white, close-up images of the direct shadows of natural phenomena combined with the sound of the harpsichord playing beatifically and rhythmically, with patterns of a similar natural phenomena of the reflection off water projected over the music player and instrument, will lull the Maths students, professors and visitors into a psychological and perhaps emotional space between logic and magic; where the profound patterns found in nature and disclosed during this event are free to be interpreted individually.