S_V_H Metamorphosis 2 image 2

I have been working on and off on this artwork for almost a month. I have it figured out, but was interrupted by the warmth of Spring finally arriving, remodeling of our home, getting my bonsai plants setup and moved outdoors, and other projects, interruptions, and issues that have quickly altered my winter day-to-day work schedule.

I still have not painted and put together the side speaker boxes. I have the music done, which is wonderful, for after a month on this subject I would dread that idea of still having to create the cover music. That adds to the why I create the music before the artwork.

For this project I am using two sheets of steel each 6 inches by 24 inches. Like what I did with them in the past two artworks, I will bend them into a curve to enhance that 3 dimensional look I want. I also have a new method of mounting for those sheets, eliminating the need for the support of extra canvases and angle aluminum.

A different type of metal, mini corrugated steel, will be placed in the middle area of this artwork. Because this panel is sized at 26 by 36 inches, I had to figure out how to cut it to a size I could use. I have already learned that finding the right tools and developing the right skill for cutting galvanized steel will take time. My first attempt resulted in three pieces, of which I will use one. Although harder to size, I like corrugated metal. This type of metals with its V shape, adds depth to the artwork. Since it is also very magnet friendly, I can secure it to the canvas using magnets on the canvas backside. That is important, for to reduce this artwork length for transporting, the center canvas needs to be removed.

One last comment on the layout seen in this image. It is not accurate. One thing I have maintained consistently throughout the years is the up and down flow of my music. Although I break the rules, my rules, my music if it starts as an A, for example, as the first of my notes, elsewhere on the artwork the next A will also be very close in the same up and down height as the first. Of course as I have mentioned, I break the rules all the time, especially now that I use magnets that allow the music to be removed. That means that these artworks can and will change in appearance as they move on through their life. That last sentence puts these artworks into a small and unique group of misfits art.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Metamorphosis 2 image 1

Metamorphosis 2 plan layout. This image length is 100 inches with ten inch wide speakers boxes.
Metamorphosis 2 Music Box draft cover music.

The length of this artwork, including the music boxes, is ten feet. This size will not travel well. In order to exhibit this artwork, it will need to be dismantled. To do this, the 16×20 inch middle canvas will be bolted on both sides to the main panels, secured with wing nuts that are removable. This enables the artwork to be broken down into three pieces for travel.

I did not show in the preparatory image above, but I will set the two speaker boxes on top and in front of the main canvases. This design accommodates the depth needed for the speaker boxes. This method I used in the Beethoven project to allow the main canvases to hang closer to the wall when hung.

The cutting out the wooden pieces of the music has from the start been a messy, noisy, tedious, hassle. This grew worse when I started adding playable music to my artworks. To match the increasing length of the music, the number of notes also grew. At first, I only needed to cover a short phrase or a sentence from the music. My cover music soon became mini soundtracks. This then required me to use increasingly smaller notes in order to place them on an artwork that I could handle reasonably. I dislike small notes. That then resulted in the change in this arts philosophy with the move to sampling. That story is told in the 2020 last Christmas painting blog.

In the past, I made the switch from quarter inch to half inch lumber when creating notes two inches and larger in diameter. For this project I have returned to using quarter inch wood for the 3 inch half notes and slightly smaller quarter notes. Doing that saves production time, cuts the dust, and reduces the tedium of the cutting out and sanding. I plan on using half-inch wide for the base notation because of their deep dramatic sound in the cover music. Also, influencing my better use of my time is the ever improving cover music that I have enjoyed creating. This means that the definition of this art as both a visual and a performance presentation is increasingly becoming balanced and of equal value.

As I neared the end of this blog entry, I changed the plan. Realizing that a ten foot long artwork would limit exhibition placement “In the search for empty walls” (my quote), I moved the speaker boxes to the sides. This reduces the overall length to nine feet. That will be an improvement if I solve the probably design issue when attaching the music.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Philip Glass’s Metamorphosis 2

This is the piano only music box draft of the audio cover of Philip Glass Metamorphosis 2. I need this first in order to build the music.

I edited this 4 minute long music down to around a minute-and-a-half, for the next music box,

Starting at 1:45 Philip Glass in 1988, playing live Metamorphosis no. 2

I have, over the years, wondered about the composer Philip Glass, but thought his music was too inventive to work with. For reference I checked iTunes, which I have not used in years, and found four pieces of his music out of over 23,000 songs I own. Of those four songs none have a rating. In my iTunes days, I had little interest in Philip Glass’ music. Obviously, ” I was so much older than. I am younger than that now,” for his time has arrived.

That happened when I was hunting for music after finishing the Beethoven’s 5th project. Still in a Winter mood, no matter the lack of snow piles, my plan was to do another classical music box. To keep the cover music learning process going, I stayed with the piano as the principal instrument. I first turned to Chopin, but I have already done enough Chopin to last for now. Certainly there have to be other classical composers not named Chopin, Mozart, or Beethoven that would make an interesting music box. One search solution was to listen to playlists that fit that requirement. In Spotify, I found the playlist, 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Piano. Only a few songs in I heard Metamorphosis no. 2 and thought its haunting melody was perfect for my mood. Now that I have a decent piano version of the cover, the next step is to cut out of wood the many half and whole notes I will need. I know the notes will be large and more than the Beethoven work. That means I am going to have to innovate to keep the main canvas under six feet required for travel.

Scott Von Holzen