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Music Art

Posted July. 19, 2006 03:01,   


Inspired by Beethoven’s ninth symphony “Ode to Joy,” Painter Gustav Klimt drew a 30 meter-wide wall painting. Composer Yoon Yi-sang hung a drawing of Sashindo, the portrait of four heavenly creatures that include a blue dragon, a white tiger, and imagery creatures hyunmo and joojak, in his living room and used it as inspiration for all the music that he created throughout his entire life. Some even say that music is the rough sketch of the soul. Music performances held in galleries are already a world trend. Dong-A Ilbo searched some of such musical performances played in galleries, where one can see music and listen to art.

Bukhan River Shore Concert on a Rainy Day—

I went to Seoho Arts Gallery on the shore of Bukhan River in Namyangju City, Gyeonggi Province on the rainy afternoon Saturday July 15. On this day the “Harmony Project” concert, which has been playing in the gallery for the past four years, was held. As I entered the exhibition hall, the scenery of the Bukhan River could be seen at a single view through the checkered glass windows. As the audience of about 100 sat down, the concert started. With tree branches swinging by the winds and works of art in the background, Beethoven’s trio of piano, clarinet and cello left a deep image in the heart that would last for a long time. The “Harmony Project” that has been held 10 times annually since 2002 is more significant in that it plays never-played-before original modern music inspired by the works of painters who hold exhibitions at the gallery. On that day painter Jung Chung-il and composer Hwang Dong-ok explained their respective paintings and music.

With the Burghers of Calais by the Gates of Hell—

On July 11, the Rodin Gallery located in Jung-gu, Seoul where Rodin’s sculpture Porte de l`Enfer, or “Gates of Hell,” and “Burghers of Calais” are being displayed also held a small concert in its Glass Pavilion. The music company Credia invited 200 members of its Club Balcony to the performance of cellist Pieter Wispelwey, who played Bach’s cello suites number one and six. Wispelwey’s performance in front of the “Gates of Hell,” a piece inspired by Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” combined Bach’s music with a sculpture expressing the last judgment, and drew out deep contemplation from the audience. The rich echo of the cello deflected from the gallery’s walls and created an almost heavenly atmosphere. After his performance, Wispelwey did not hide his excitement, saying, “It was one of the best performances of my life. I want to keep the picture of me playing in front of the ‘Gates of Hell’ as a souvenir.” He also added, “I could feel seriousness and concentration of the audience in my skin better than any other concert hall.”

Sound, Color and Wine—

From July 20, Korea Festival Ensemble will hold “Ensemble with the Piano” at Gwacheon Museum of Contemporary Arts. Painter Jung Chung-il commented, “Until the baroque and rococo era, music and arts had a very close relationship. Chamber music was originally created for close friends to enjoy music in place where paintings were hung.” Sometimes concerts in small galleries are accompanied by wine or other refreshments. The audience can choose a seat, enjoy music, and after the performance chat with each other while looking at paintings. One visitor was delighted and said, “It feels like being at a medieval royal chamber music concert.”

Galleries That Offer Concerts—

Gwacheon Museum of Contemporary Arts: “Ensemble with the Piano” July 20, 21 at 19:30 p.m.; July 22, 23 at 17:00 p.m., call 02-501-8477.

Rodin Gallery: “Summer Scent” with Harpist Han Hye-joo and Violinist Lee Jong-jin on July 27, 19:00 p.m., call 02-751-9607.

Seoho Gallery: Harmony Project Concert on September 16, 17:00 p.m., call 031-592-1864.

Seung-Hoon Cheon raphy@donga.com