Soul Speak

Soul Speak by Lidia Kenig Scher
Soul Speak by Lidia Kenig Scher (c)

Can you feel the art’s vibrations? Do you see its rhythm? Do you like the melody? Can you name the mood? Dig the harmony? What is the overall feeling? Can you tell what my soul is saying?

I am asking the same questions I would if instead I published a music score and you clicked on to hear it. In such case, you could easily answer all the questions. Yet because it is visual, you may be puzzled by the quiz. In looking at this 30” x 30” canvas, you may want to make sense of it by looking for shapes, textures and colors you are familiar with. You could try to find people-like forms, or trees, or flowers; maybe a butterfly?

While we never ask of music to present us with fairies, angels, clouds, or any other association to something we know in order to embrace the sounds, we tend to have difficulty doing the same with abstract art. In composing this square canvas I allowed my soul to speak, much like my son Adam does when he creates an instrumental score.

Sound is created when an object vibrates given its physical parameters. Color, shapes, textures and lines also vibrate. But unlike music, their physical parameters express themselves in visual terms and when they connect with our vibrations just like in music, they provoke feelings and emotions that instill the mood of the piece.

Art and music both have rhythmic patterns. Its regularity helps us recognize the beat and causes as to flow through the score. Anytime that the eye catches a shape, and sees the shape repeat, it wants to follow it. Strategically placed similar shapes create the rhythm that allows us to flow through a painting and recognize the melody. In other words, the circular shapes in my painting allow you to move through it, and the blue drips behind the red shapes provide the harmony that supports the melody, providing it with is musical texture.

Musical texture refers to the number of layers as well as the type of layers used in a composition and how these layers are related. I ask you to notice the layering depth provided on this painting by the gray color, the Prussian blue drips, the Titanium white layer hosting alcohol-induced circles, the red orange and orange shapes, the heavily textured blue rounds, the metallic flecks, and the sinuous dancing forms.

The timbre in this art work, like in music, refers to tone color. It is the quality of sound that distinguishes one “voice” or instrument from another. Timbre can be dull to lush to dark to bright. The timbre allows you to hear the score’s voice. One look at the variation of tone and hue in this painting and you will be able to hear the timbre of my soul speaking!

The chorus is the catchy element that creates the mood. It is the focal point of the art and of a song. Like in a painting, the focal point provides an anchor for the tune and it usually tells what the music is about.

I invite you today to spend sometime in the company of Soul Speak much as you would a new music score and see if you can feel its vibration, follow its rhythm, see the melody, catch the mood and sing the song my soul created just for you. Let me know in a poem, through music, in a photo or a drawing, about how your soul has responded. Have yourself a soulful week!

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