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Adagio For Strings


This artwork is a visual interpretation of the first eight measures of Samuel Barber's Adagio For Strings. I love the emotion and fluidness of Barber's Adagio and wondered how it would look as a work of visual art.

To find the answer, I assigned the twelve colors of the color wheel to the twelve notes of the musical scale and represented the notes as oscillating waves, with the wave height corresponding to the number of instruments playing the note. Individual instruments are represented as iridescent strings of acrylic colors, with the lightest assigned to the lead violin and increasingly darker shades assigned to the second violins, viola, violoncellos and double-bass. The tapestry of background colors are pastel shades of the notes sounding at each instant within each measure.

This is a "process" artwork where the rules by which the piece is created are laid out in advance and then followed without a clear idea of what the result will be. It is a work of discovery that reveals one of many possible visual interpretations of this beautiful musical piece.

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