"Speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
-Alan Watts

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Image of the Night #15 - New York City, Nocturne in Blue and Red

New York City, Nocturne in Blue and Red; 2012

Here's the most recent Image of the Night.  Created with the inspiration garnered from the paintings of James McNeil Whistler. I was looking out my window and my eyes fell to the AC unit of my neighbor. I noticed that there was enough light so that the interior parts were just visible. Inside there were an arrangement of pieces that reflected various colors, all of which seemed to fall into the blues and red portions of the spectrum. The photograph was made late in the day so I knew that the sunlight was a much cooler color temperature then my eyes were showing me and I knew I could use that to my advantage. Though it is entitled a nocturne it can be seen that it displays a rather violent array of verticle bars of a high value. Seeing this caused me to think about it in predominantly two ways. One of which was that each vertical line sounded like distant staccato trumpet or violin notes. The other way was that it also appeared to be a very illustrative example of a music staff with each black space being the measure and each white vertical line being a standard bar. Now, in order to bring the music to life I found an online example of color-tone relation. These notes serve as a relative consensus between two composers, Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin and Nikolai Rimsky-Korakov. Now, if you really want to sit down and play the picture in accordance to the colors shown in relation to the circle of fifths then be my guest but that's too much for me. I enjoy the aesthetic experience of relating the blues to low violin, cello and double bass sounds while the reds appear to be more in the spirit of the soft warm tones of the horn, and some woodwind instruments. I can give no insight as to how long or short the image will play out for you or if it even will at all. I also must say that nothing presented here is a definite science, rather, it's a product of myself realizing my views on the visual world, how I've experienced and enjoyed them for years and years, as well as my findings of like-minded individuals that seem  to have agreed with me.

I'll share with you some quotes from one of my favorite painters, Wassily Kandinsky.

from (Original Source): Chapter 5, Uber das Geistige in der Kunst (Munich: R. Piper, 1912), pp. 37-42 (actually published in December, 1911)

My source: Chipp, Herschel Browning., Peter Howard Selz, and Joshua Charles Taylor. Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics. Berkeley: University of California, 1968. pp. 152-155. Print.

"If you let your eye stray over a palatte of colors, you experience two things. In the first place you receive a purely physical effect, namely the eye itself is enchanted by the beauty and other qualities of color. You experience satisfaction and delight, like a gourmet savoring a delicacy. Or the eye is stimulated as the tongue is titillated by a spicy dish. But it grows calm and cool, like a finger after touching ice. These are physical sensations, limited in duration. They are superficial, too, and leave no lasting impression behind if the soul remains closed. [...] On he other hand, as the physical coldness of ice, upon penetrating more deeply, arouses more complex feelings, and indeed a whole chain of psychological experiences, so may also the superficial impression of color develop into an experience"(p 152).

 "Only with higher development does the circle of experience of different beings and objects grow wider. Only in the highest development do they acquire an internal meaning and an inner resonance. It is the same with color, [...]" (p 153).

"The eye is strongly attracted by light, clear colors,a nd still more strongly by colors that are warm as well as clear; vermillion stimulates like flame, which has always fascinated human beings. Keen lemon-yellow hurts the eye as does a prolonged and shrill bugle note the ear, and one turns away for relief to blue or green"(p 153).

"They [colors] produce a correspondent spiritual vibration, and it is only as a step towards this spiritual vibration that the physical impression is of importance" (p 153)

"The sound of colors is so definite that it would be hard to find anyone who would express bright yellow with bass notes, or dark lake with the treble" (p 154).

UPDATE (1/16/2012): Recently, a very good friend of mine, Emily Yost, a fellow photography enthusiast as well as quite the artist told me that when she viewed this image she could not help but think of the Theme song to Cowboy Bebop. Now, seeing as it's one of my favorite, if not THE favorite anime I've seen, I loved hearing that news. If you are unfamiliar with the theme, here it is in full.

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