McKenzie Fine Art
John Aslanidis
Gilbert Hsiao
Laura Watt

As a painter, I have been greatly influenced by the power of the sonic experience, both in the act of deep, immersive listening and also the act of creating music itself. After hearing the works of the Minimalist composers (like LaMonte Young, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley) and the roots of their influences (like the idea in the Upanishads, the ancient Indian text which speaks of the entire universe being constructed of sound), as well as the ambient works and ideas of Brian Eno, John Cage, and Jon Hassell, I became interested in the common ground of painting and sound and their ability to perform a function, in my case, by creating conducive environments for meditation, contemplation and reflection. By implementing a sort of intentional synesthesia of sound and vision, my painting began to focus on the interaction of rhythmic, vibratory frequencies locked in a visual dance of pattern and structure. The sonic influence became apparent in the paintings in the symmetry, which is directly related to the stereophonic phenomenon found in our natural hearing. It also is present with the process. Just as a musician plays a performance in time, my paintings are made in a kind of performance also- line by line slowly applied with a squeeze bottle hovering just above the surface in a session of meditative concentration with little room for error. With sound, expirimentation began with a hand held tape recorder when I was seven years old. With two taperecorders I discovered I could “overdub” and my obecession with sound began. As a teenager I played bass guitar in various bands, composing fusion instrumentals. Then I began, and still am, creating experimental “soundscapes” with the mixing board becoming the significant “instrument”, manipulating raw sounds, either found or constructed, into ambient sonic environments. In addition to twelve solo albums, I have also done several collaborations, including with Angie Drakopoulos on the video/sound installations, “Aurorasis” and “Mythograph”, (excerpt under “animations” here), exhibited in Paris and New York. In 2007, I played bass guitar, guitar and did the engineering and mixing on the vinyl only release “A Jumpin’ Jackpot o’ Melody” by the minimalist art rockers, The Daycare Centre, which received airplay on alternative stations in New York, Canada and Europe. Through this synthesis, this intentional synesthesia of sound and vision, I have ultimately been interested, in a very scientific manner, in the basic, fractal or holographic architecture permeating the universe and how this is revealed through paint, sound and the conscious creative act.

Here are a few albums which had a profound influence fairly early on, defining a new way to “listen”: “Tantras of Gyuto”Tibetan Buddhist chant, Music from the Morning of the World– Balinese gamelan, Brian Eno’s “On Land”, Jon Hassell’s “The Surgeon of the Nightsky Restores Dead Things with the Power of Sound”, LaMonte Young’s “The Second Dream of the High-Tension Line Stepdown Transformer From the Four Dreams of China”, John Cage’s “Sonatas and Etudes for the Prepared Piano” and Steve Reich’s “Music for Eighteen Musicians”.

Sound and Vision | 2011 | angie drakopoulos, buddhist chant, daycare centre, gamelan, gilbert hsiao, john aslanidis, john cage, lamonte young, laura watt, mckenzie fine art, painting, sound, steve reich, synesthesia, vision | Comments (0)