Musical Nostalgia

 

Musical Nostalgia

Musical Nostalgia

While growing up, art and music both played a major role in my life. This painting is an attempt to blend those two experiences… to re-awaken the memories of that creative time in my youth, a time when my mind was uncluttered. I have fond memories of playing the piano but I also recall some frustration while struggling with difficult compositions. Although I was fascinated by the sounds of all the musical instruments, it was the piano that captivated me. As I grew older I allowed myself to become lost in music as I dealt with the challenges of adolescence.

Oddly enough, I recall the absence of nervousness when as kids we took exams administered by an overseas adjudicator from the Royal College of Music and also when we performed at concerts. That courage to play before a live audience has to be attributed to a dedicated music teacher who taught my sisters and I for years. I have also included in my painting other musical instruments that captivated me but, alas, never had the opportunity to learn. The metronome had to be included as it brought back memories of the imp in me who wanted to take it apart as I did with so many of my toys …I had to find out how it made that ‘tick tock’ sound.

Over the years I attended various performances featuring concerts, musicals, operas and solo performances so that those early experiences would not fade away. Tastes change but my fondness for the piano has remained. Since the piano was my instrument of choice it has been given a fairly prominent place in this painting. The inspiration for a purplish background in this painting came from the wood of the “Purple Heart” tree in Guyana. I felt that the purple background would be an effective contrast to the mostly golden brown colours of the instruments. The wood from the purple heart tree was sometimes used  in furniture construction …I owe a special ‘thank you’ to a friend for the suggestion to use ‘purple heart’ as the background colour rather than my first preference of ‘green heart’. The Victoria Regia water lily is purposely intertwined with the treble clef on the scroll as a link to my early life in Guyana. It brings to mind the pride many Guyanese felt when we boasted about that elegant flower with those mammoth leaves floating in the pond at the Botanical Gardens in Georgetown as well in the interior regions. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_(plant).  On the scroll I included a few fragments of music composed by some of my favourite composers … Chopin, Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven.

For me, this painting represents the lingering nostalgia from a creative period of my youth that I had to set aside in order to focus on academics.  The intent was to capture memories of that particular period in my youth and translate those memories into something tangible to show how emotions can be expressed through the prism of art. Now that I am older it sometimes seems that life is a highly artistic musical dance that quite often becomes complex and challenging. Yet, as times marches on, I would like this dance, however complex or challenging, to last for a very long time!!!

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