This first image of Giant Steps shows the pieces that I have made so far for this artwork. Once painted and glue together I can than map out the music flow to make sure everything fits on the two 60 inch by six-inch frames. I will connect the frames one above the other, after attaching all the music.
The importance Giant Steps by John Coltrane, I knew, but it wasn’t until I watched the video on Giant Steps “The most feared song in jazz,” that I had the incentive to paint it. Since this video also involves a lot of discussion of music theory, I found that attractive. What finally convinced me to do Giant Steps was how well Africa’s rectangle format worked for that music.
The rectangle format allows me to create larger works with more music while keep the artwork length reasonable, under eight feet (longer lengths makes storage an issue). Using the rectangle format, with two frames for the music instead of one long frame, cuts the length of Giant Steps down from over ten to five feet. Even though the stacking of the music was new, I felt disappointment with Africa. Stylistically there was only small differences with Africa from the other 2018 artworks, like Vogue, or the Turkish March. The answer to that was the rediscovery of So What. Finding the video on John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, and at the same time taking a second look at a forgotten artwork, I found the new direction I was looking for after Africa.
I took the larger, and different looking So What to the Art fair as a statement piece. So What was Art Fair priced at $800.00, but was never noticed that day. At that time I thought the musical style of So What would only work with solo Jazz music, and no other genre. This was clear with my next painting, Chaconne, by the Classical Composer J S Bach, that came out of no where because of a print request from a customer in China. The Bach music was Classical in style, and much more complicated than So What so it was never considered. Chaconne turned out to be an exceptional work with it own wonderful Classical music look, that set the example for what was to follow. So What, then ended up in storage as “so what.”
Lately, we needed a longer, but narrow artwork to decorate a wall. Since So What’s colors worked for that room, and because it was at the front of the stack artworks, it came out of storage. To refresh this blog header I also switched that image to So What. Than came the video on Giant Steps. Because So What’s Jazz style worked well, it became my plan to use it as the template for the John Coltrane Jazz piece. What I am doing is my own Back to the Future move with Giant Steps, with the hope, this time, of using this look in future projects. Looking back I regret the time lost in not exploring the possibilities of So What. Giant Steps will take So What forward using as its theme the first 14 seconds of this music:
Scott Von Holzen