I have completed this my first Aria. Unusual, but true, I cannot pronounce the title of this artwork in French. Softly Awakes My Heart is this music’s English name, but I prefer the original title that comes from the French Opera, Samson and Delilah. One of my goals for this painting was to let the music move off the canvas. As you can see above that is what I did accomplish, after solving a number of technical issues. The wire I finally ended up using, annealed aluminum, is actually used for training of Bonsai trees. It is a lot easier, and lighter than copper, with the advantage of being thicker, but easier to mold into place. Of course even this fairly large wire is not enough to create a strong visual effect. That is why I grab a bunch of scrap pieces of wood, and had some fun. If you go back to late 2012 and this Vivaldi painting from the Four Seasons Series, Autumn Allegro, you can see the origin of that idea using paint only.
Similar what you see in the Vivaldi artwork, and in this French Aria painting, those assortment of shapes around the flow are there to create the look of pieces of the music being toss about. When sounded a note’s tone often continues, although diminished, until drowned out by the next note. In these two artworks I express those reduced pitches in the form of panted pieces, and scraps of wood, with the side effect of adding interest, movement, and in this artwork, adding mass around the wire.
This artwork has an odd shape, and construction, but I think the look turns out to be fine because the painting looks balance. Again, as I mentioned before, the background is good, but it is not the fresh look I am looking for. This is a beautiful Aria, and I believe this artwork stands out as a great visual representation that honors the music.
Scott Von Holzen
Mon Coeur s’ouvre à ta voix, is an Aria from the French grand opera Samson and Delilah first preformed in the year 1877.
Here is another version by Elina Garanca, which I shared with you in the first post of this music:
Here is a very beautiful version sung by Olga Borodina:
Again here is another version by Olga Borodina, that is from the Opera in which this music is sung as a duet. I like this operatic interpretation because for the man’s part, sung by Josè Cura, for he does not yell out his love for Dalila, like the other examples I have watched. Instead his voice is full and strong in his heartbreaking statement of his love of Dalila.
As you can see this is another experimental work in the how of pushing the music off the canvas. This is not easy to do, which can be seen so far in my fairly primitive efforts. These new ideas in composition are changing the philosophy of these artworks. I am seeing a speeding up of the changes to my original idea for this art form, which came from sheet music. Although, I have always been abandoning different musical rules since my first musical artwork, I do see that trend becoming even more extensive, and obvious today. These later paintings better display this art form in its efforts to portray the feelings, and uniqueness of the music, while distancing themselves from any image that mimics what you see on a sheet of paper,
This artwork is interesting. Not only is it being uniquely linked together differently from any other painting I have done, but I have found myself totally disappointed in the way I am portraying the background for this music. I struggled with the background, without finding a solution to this issue, in my last work. I am now convinced that after this painting, I have only the choice to change my approach to my backgrounds. They are becoming boring, and repetitious. I will eventually come up with something that will even surprise me. I just hope eventually, means in the next few days.
Scott Von Holzen
“Mon Coeur s’ouvre á ta voix,” quoting Wikipedia, “..is a popular mezzo-soprano aria from Camille Saint-Saëns’s opera Samson and Delilah, known in English as “Softly awakes my heart”. It is sung by Delilah in act 2 as she attempts to seduce Samson into revealing the secret of his strength.”
This quote from Wikipedia explains the change made to this Opera song, that convinced me to paint this music:
“In the opera, Delilah is responding to Samson’s words “Dalila! Dalila! Je t’aime!” (Delilah! Delilah! I love you!) which he repeats between the first and second verses of her aria; these interjections are omitted in recital performances or sometimes sung to the changed words “Samson! Samson! Je t’aime!“; Samson’s part in the final 22 bars of the stage aria where he joins Delilah in a duet is also omitted in a recital, although some performers, notably Marilyn Horne and Jessye Norman, have sung Samson’s final words – changed as above, rising to a high B-flat (my emphasis).”
Here is the link to the video to a wonderful performance of this change to the music, beautifully sung by Elina Garanca. At the end of the aria, starting at 5:45 minutes, there is a small pause, and then she softly sings, “..Samson.., Samson, ..I love you.” That is the music of this Artwork.