Creative Harmony: Art + The Music That Inspired It (and vice versa)
We sent out a call. We wanted to know how music and visual art connect with our members. Every time we hold one of these community projects different people reach out to us and the results are always extraordinary. This time we wanted to know which songs inspired particular pieces for artists (and vice versa for musicians). We gave everyone a window of 7 days and received some great submissions. Here are the results:
Nina Reichmann (Photographer, Germany)
Hi there, my name is Nina and I’m sending you my piece of art. It’s a self-portrait which I did last year. I placed the camera next to me in my bed to create the view of someone, laying beside me. It is a very personal work for me because it’s born from sadness and happiness at the same time and I put my whole heart in it. Music always inspires me in every situation of my life. Either if I’m listening to a song and think “this could be a picture” or the other way around, music is my teacher, my friend and also my healer.
The song I have chosen to underline this picture and the feelings in it is “Paradise Circus” by Massive Attack.
It was easy for me to find a song that fits the picture so well,because this one is one of my favourite songs and it always makes me cry, even if i am happy and there is no reason to be sad. I wouldn’t even say it makes me sad but it is just that the lyrics are so true and everybody knows the situation of loving and not being loved back or the other way around. Most uf us think, that pain is bad and we should push it away while i think it’s something you have to go through and to feel it to know, you’re still alive. For a strange and unknown reason I am always thinking of my own funeral while listening to this song. Death is something i’ve been thinking about a lot lately and it scares me while on the other hand I’m curious what is going to happen to my mind when I’m dead.
All these feelings are captured forever in this picture and I hope you like it.
Loads of love,
Swati Bhatnagar (Photographer, India)
Attached is a photograph which is a part of the series that i worked on when i listened to Explosions in the Sky. Enclosing the details below and the link to the song. The title of the photograph is Waiting and the title of the track is So Long, Lonesome.
There are very few pieces of music that inspire me to convert a musical piece into a photograph. This was one of them.
Other pieces of music that inspire me would be Erik Satie’s and Take me Somewhere Nice by Mogwai (i’d like to create an entire series on this song).
Timothy Brearton (Painter, United States)
Please find attached aan image of my acrylic on canvas, “Soldier.”
The musical track I feel accompanies this piece is “Danny The Dog” by Massive Attack.
I haven’t painted in a while, but I always played music when I did. The music did more than carry me through a “mood”; somehow the very sonic neutrinos emanating from the songs activated the electrons and unfurled the art coiled there in the ether. As I painted I would film the work in stages as it evolved. Later I would cut this to music.
So, painting then morphed into filmmaking for me. In similar ways, the music was the “field” from which the ideas took form. There was something about music which freed me, and opened me up for the moment to manifest. (This sounds saccharine to my own ears, but, it’s true.)
The flip side is that such an inspiring collaboration with music can behave like a wild horse. As we age, perhaps we refine ourselves, hone our craft, narrow our options.
Now, as I approach middle age, the art process is more planned. There is often money involved. Outlines are drawn up first. Schedules are kept. There is no drinking or cavorting. Still, as I near the end of a film, my favorite part is sitting down with the composer and putting the music to the images.
Until that happens, something is just not present. Music fills in all of the fissures, like water.
Ego Rodriguez (Illustrator, UK)
I would like to submit one of the illustrations from a book I’m working on.
I usually need different style of music depending of what I’m working on and it really helps me to get on the vibe or feeling of the vision in my head.
For the series where this illustration is taken I’ve got really inspired by Hans Zimmer soundtrack for “Sherlock Holmes”, in particular the song that I heard for first time and got my train going was “Discombobulate” used on the credits, the sketchy victorian graphics moving along the mechanical distorted beats feel just right along the images I produced.
The sample I’m sending is the very first illustration/character that marked the steampunkish style that dominate the whole series.
This is Hester, the chander-lady (you can have a peek of the other characters on Flickr)
Lucia Moretti (Photographer, Switzerland)
Hi dear Chris,
As always your project are soooo cool!! I like this one!! So here my photographic piece. It is unfortunately pretty old but it was highly inspired by Joyeuse Tristesse by Nadine Carina. Actually this photograph is called the same. You can listen at her beautiful melodic song here.
Since Nadine Carina has been my best friend for 21 years and she is a musician the music play an important role in my photography. I get inspired by her :)
Nadine website: nadinecarina.webs.com
Colin Wojno (Photographer, United States)
This is a great theme! Hopefully you can use what I’m sending. Thank you for your consideration.
I’ve attached a photo called “Echoes.” I named it after the Pink Floyd’s “Echoes.”
To me, “Echoes” always seemed like the most epic Pink Floyd song. Since I don’t play an instrument, I try to express a similar “epic” feeling through my photography.
When I saw this California coastline, the song “Echoes” played immediately in my mind. The rock formations, colors and light naturally fit the themes of the song. This location could easily be the place where life crawled out onto land from a “distant time” and warmed itself by “a million bright ambassadors of morning.”
Franny Lugo (Photographer, United States)
Song Inspiration: No Room For Doubt by Lianne La Havas
I feel like the song and the photograph share the same story. How we get into situations in life and we want to handle it with our way of handling things but we end up facing reality and do what is truly right for us to do. We are torn most of the time though and sometimes it takes time for us to realize what’s the best thing to do for us and the situation.
Lizabeth Applewhite (Photographer, United States)
baby say goodbye – wavves
I took this photo at the end of a very important summer in my life. That song is from an album I spent most of that summer listening to, and I don’t think the photo could exist without it.
Nicola Bortoli (Photographer, Italy)
Hi, my name is Nicola Bortoli, I’m Italian, 19 years old. I would like to submit this photo that really means a lot to me. For my photography I like taking inspiration from everything: memories, faces, landscapes, emotions, but music is my favourite source of inspiration.
For this photo that I took few months ago I got inspired by a song of Ed Sheeran – Give Me Love. I love his music and his voice, and when I heard the verse “All I want is the taste that your lips allow” it’s like I was getting shivers. Imediately a lot of memories started to held my throat, and I tried to rapresent this emotion through this photo.
Sometimes I think that music is not only a series of notes.
I hope you like the photo and I really hope you will appreciate my submission. I’m sorry for my bad english but I’m trying to improve myself day by day.:)
Ghost Lights (Band, Canada)
I front a Montreal indie-band called Ghost Lights. We just released our first EP.
I also keep a photoblog that conspires to preserve the themes I explore in my songs in visual form.
My music is heavily inspired by wilderness, legends, indigenous lore, spirits, abandoned and remote places, etc. The track I’d choose is the first, Fog Chief. I’ve attached a photo that goes with the general vibe of the song. It’s coincidentally one of my shots too.
Thanks and cheers to art,
Brut Carniollus (Visual Artist, Slovenia)
Piece: Sail My Ships, 2012 (part of the series named I am the one, healed by your touch), featuring model Alice Skary by skydancer
Track: Jure Tori, A Light in The Darkness
When I first heard Jure Tori two years ago, I was completely swept off my feet by his music. Did a few snapshots at that concert (taking pictures is part of listening to the music for me) and sent them to him a few days latter. And he was so pleased with my photos, he proposed we do a concert/exhibition project together. And so we did. Just this Friday we are having 4th concert/exhibition of this cycle in Ptuj, Slovenia.
Digital collages of the cycle named I am the one, healed by your touch were created at the initiative of Jure Tori, who proposed a series of concerts and poetry readings with accompanying visual arts exhibitions in the year of the end of the world (and next, after the Mayan prophecies proved to be off mark). All works: Jure’s accordion pieces, songs of five poets (one of them contributed title of one of his songs as a title of the exhibition) and brut’s digital collages share the same theme: love and Eros (what else!). And so, though works could be (and, of course are) also self-contained, they present a gourmet mix that comforts the soul, caresses the ear and delights the eye. As a series of events planned is in fact interdisciplinary artistic collaboration, brut’s digital collages are artistic collaboration as well, this time international, as brut uses one or more works of several deviantART artists (models and photographers) as an intrinsic element of his visuals. Large format digital prints resulting from typical digital collaging technique remain quite recognizable even without author’s signature.
Here is a page with Jure Tori solo CD designed by yours truly.
Nichole Burton (Photographer, United States)
Art // “Wake Up”, Photograph
Music // Artist: Evenings, Title: Friend (Lover)
Ironically my work is all about choices; why do we make choices, and how do they shape us? Are we truly free, or is the decision-process only a product of an illusion of choice? Through my work, I seek to capture figures as raw and broken from their decisions; as an object in constant transition. I generally use black and white digital photography to capture a degree subtle ambience unattainable in color.
Tamar Kasparian (Illustrator, Belgium)
This is my submission for the music that inspire me.
I chose to redraw (digital) a drawing (markers & pencil on paper) of a series of illustrations realized in 2010 inspired by the song “50 Ways to leave you lover” by Paul Simon. That song touched me because I was finally feeling so free at that time. This drawing is an illustration of the First sentence in the song.
Here is the original series and the link to the song on youtube.
When I paint, Music is really important. It’s more about the rythm, music is a way to stop thinking and just feel. It’s like a trance, it’s really powerful. When I draw, it’s different. I’m more inspired by the lyrics. Maybe the difference between inspiration by rythmes and inspiration by lyrics is visible in these drawings/paintings I did for the release of a compilation of experimental musics for a belgian music label.
Here is another series of drawing inspired by another song “I’ll be your Mirror” by The Velvet Underground & Nico. When I was drawing, I had always in mind the incredible voice of Nico .
Thanks in advance for taking time to look at my works.
Tamar Kasparian (UzumakiTK)
Allison Litera (Visual Artist, United States)
Here is a piece I created based off the song Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles. I wanted to depict the moment where she interacts with her “face in a jar by the door,” with her sad and tired eyes. She is but an old and lonely woman, intrigued by the bright light outside.
My favorite part of creating this piece was incorporating actual sheet music as the wallpaper. It’s slightly subliminal at first and gives the piece an edge. The process of applying it to a piece is similar to decoupage, and then covering the sheet music with oil paint. I used almost every kind of medium in this piece: colored pencil, watercolor, oil paint, ink, and acrylic.
I am inspired by many Beatles lyrics, as I am sure many other artists are, and hope to create at least a couple more pieces using this same aesthetic. The beauty of intertwining music and art is that the lyrics are there to inspire you, just like a writer’s words would inspire a children’s book illustrator. You could literally illustrate almost any song with such vivid imagery.
(prints of this piece are available…visit www.alliewanda.com)
Patrick Nietupski (Cartoonist / Comic Artist, United States)
Hey, so if you can’t tell I’m a super nerd. Pictured is the adventuring party for a game of Dungeons and Dragons that I ran. Featured front and center is Einarr the dwarf, to the left is Ashp the tiefling, on the right is Mal the drow, and the big guy in the back is Kodlak the goliath. The song is from the video game Oblivion, and it is awesome song and game.
For the last year or so, I haven’t really listened to music. I’ve heard it playing while I do things, but I haven’t listened. To anything, be it cool indie pop or bluegrass. It hasn’t inspired me. So I put this tune on a little while ago and it transported me to a world. It reached out and grabbed my imagination like music always used to (I almost got into a car accident!). I got home and just started drawing. For me, in my art and in my life, music is supposed to transport you (like Star Trek) to a place that your imagination runs wild. Whether it’s imagining an elven kingdom or just a human life, my favorite music always moves me to understand something a little better.
Pat Nietupski A.K.A. Floyd Fox
Kyle Mensing (Cartoonist / Comic Artist, United States)
So, I am not really satisfied (or finished) with the piece I originally intended to submit for this. Thankfully, I had an unplanned backup after listening to Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange.
The track is Thinkin Bout You by Frank Ocean off the album Channel Orange
I used to be a huge fan of hip-hop, but I never really got into R&B. Frank Ocean has changed this with his emotional song writing and adventurous production. The most inspiring thing to me about Frank Ocean, though, is the open letter he published to his Tumblr just before the release of Channel Orange. I found it incredibly brave of him to openly discuss his sexuality in the very public manner that he did, especially since the world of hip-hop is notoriously homophobic. Even more so in light of the image cultivated by his fellow cohorts in Odd Future. Frank Ocean is an extremely refreshing breathe of fresh air.
I have always loved and been inspired by music. Until very recently I would have considered music my primary creative outlet. I started trying my hand at comics and that has taken hold as my main outlet, at least for the moment. Music is an ever present factor in my life, whether or not I am creating. It is a truly wonderful thing. A universal language.
Jessica Christie (Photographer, Australia)
Attached is my submission titled “Bittersweet Memories”. The song that inspired this photograph is by Bullet for my Valentine, also titled “Bittersweet Memories”. It is about finally deciding let go, to burn the reality of what is and leave nothing but bittersweet memories. A difficult but necessary task I connect with a little too well.
Music is a big influence in not only my life but also in my photography. One song triggers an array of emotions, memories and new inspirations. I can lose myself completely in the words I hear over and over again. For every significant event or moment in my life there are lyrics, songs and sometimes whole albums that express the way I’m feeling, without me having to say a word.
As an artist I am always looking for new inspiration and music never fails me. No matter how many times I’ve heard a song I always find new inspiration or meaning to the words. I love buying a new album, turning it up in my car and listening for the first time. It is in these moments I let my mind wander and drift into a new world.
Music speaks to my heart, it opens my mind to new ideas and helps me create a new world through my photography.
Thank you for the opportunity to submit something that is so relevant to me as and artist and a person.
Kamila Gornia (Photographer, United States)
My name is Kamila Gornia
Here’s the image that I took that was DIRECTLY influenced by a song “Horny” by Thought Tempo. This actually lead to me creating a stop motion video that goes with the song as well.
I love music, it inspires me at all times – whenever I feel unmotivated or uninspired, all I need to do is put on music and it takes care of itself.
I especially love post-rock and classical as well as ambient sounds. Anything that sounds more sensual and intimate, and intense… it all makes my heart and mind open up to so many possibilities.
Nika Ostby (Photographer, United States)
Track: Like a Hobo by Charlie Winston
Whenever I am afraid of failure, I listen to this song. Both the song and the piece attached speak to me about the courage of doing what you love regardless of anything or anyone else. I may end up being a hobo wandering with my camera, but I am doing what I love and I know I will be happy.
Cheyenne Raduha (Photographer, United States)
Song: “Venice” by The Lighthouse and the Whaler
This song by The Lighthouse and the Whaler always makes me feel the need to go on a melancholy adventure. Once I heard this song it instantly made me think of the farm I grew up on, riding my pony and knowing that I was in love with my pony and all the adventures we would have together. When I was home from school I did this photo shoot with My Love, Ashi (pony). This is a self portrait.
Thank you so much for this opportunity to share my work and inspiration.
Carl Phillips (Photographer, UK)
Track – It’s Your VooDoo Working by Charles Sheffield
When I first started taking images, I would keep my headphones in, I would play music to deafen me. I didn’t want all that other stuff that surrounds us everyday. I just wanted what I saw.
Heather M. Schmaedeke (Photographer, Germany)
The song that I think emphasizes the piece is Return by Siouxsie and the Banshees.
In July I came to Berlin to participate in an artist residency, and while here I applied for and got my visa. Both the artist residency and living abroad are something that I’ve always wanted to do and finally accomplished. Just like everything in life there is a price for pursuing your passion, I’m specifically referring to the emotional and mental toll. In order to embark on this amazing adventure, I had to give up my previous life to a certain extent, leave my family and friends, financial stability, etc. in order to pursue something more ephemeral, but no less important – my bliss. In the midst of this amazing journey, full of excitement and newness and wonder, unfortunately there are always moments of self-doubt that rear their ugly heads from time to time. I hadn’t thought about this song or heard it in years before I came to Berlin and in one of those moments of reflection and self-doubt I thought about this song and couldn’t stop listening to it. It’s so beautiful in it’s melancholy and there’s also strength and wisdom in the song. I feel it perfectly reflects the image because both contain a quiet strength, and the vibrating stillness of action, doubt and reflection.
As a photographer, I’m usually out wandering around by myself with my camera and music is a constant companion for me, whether I am listening to my iPod or it’s just running through my head.
Sanja Stansic (Photographer, Serbia)
Hi, I’m art photographer. I’m often inspired by one specific song, to be exact by emotion that is coming out of that song. This is only one of my thematic music photos: Artist Muse, song Map Of The Problématique.
Nina Di Cara (Artist + Photographer, UK)
Piece: The Girl and The Stars
Music: Andy Burrows – Hometown
Music has always inspired me to create. I find myself scribbling down meaningful lyrics on the margins of pages and creating little stories around them made from pictures. I’ve also found that different types of music inspire me to create in different ways. Some songs make me want to get my camera out and explore, whereas some make me want to sit still at my desk and draw characters to share a moment with me. The Girl and The Stars was definitely the latter. It’s not perfect but it means something to me – and isn’t that what art is all about anyway?
Nina Di Cara
Jonathan Aguilar (Visual Artist)
One of the songs that inspire me the most artistically is “but the nuns are watching” by “I set my friends on fire” music means a lot to me as an artist because it is what fuels my inspiration and artistic drive it also helps decide how the piece looks a long with how i am feeling.
Mr. Palindrome (Children’s Musical Entertainer, Australia)
I am a children’s musical entertainer – Mr. Palindrome. Lover of stories, singer of all sorts of words and perpetrator of creating lots and lots of nonsense.
I submit the title track of my (soon to be released album) “Smiley Face Sticker” about what on earth a sticker gets up to when it aint so sticky anymore…
I also submit my inspiration… a page out of Edward Lear’s poetry. A limerick and accompanying illustration of a lady whose nose reached to her toes! It’s so silly and perfect and reminds me of too many people and noses that I know(s), that it pushes me to love and create more stories of nonsense. Nonsense that makes more sense than most!
That is all.
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Manasi Sose (Painter, India)
In response to your email, I have attached my favorite music piece which also sings the tune of my painting that I have attached herewith.
Paris Visone (Touring Photographer, United States)
I would love to submit to your music inspired project.
I have attached a photo.
Title of the track – Limp Bizkit – Radio is Dead (Creamer)
This is a photo of Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit. Which I guess could seem easy. I was on tour with them last year. I was really into Limp Bizkit when they were in their “nookie” days. They are still playing to huge crowds and this song sort of talks about the whole sense of staying on top even though things might seem dead. They will always keep creating. I feel like this is a very important issue for artists to recognize.
Thanks for the consideration,