Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Culture... Another Chance to Dream

Just got back from my weekend and noticed my Monday blog didn't post.  *snarl*  I'm not loving this new blogger.  I'll post it for today and push back today's for later.  Sorry...again...about that.


A painter paints pictures on canvas.  But musicians paint their pictures on silence.  ~Leopold Stokowski

Hey all,

I love this quote.  Because it's so true.  Music paints pictures in your mind, and you can dream away, never having to even open your eyes.

But I've discovered something.  When you put music and painting together, you create something even more amazing.

That's what they did at the Van Gogh museum here in Amsterdam.  They have a special exhibition called Dreams of Nature (is it any wonder I loved it?) which presents paintings with symbolism.  Some are weird, some beautiful, but all make you think.

Today's blog is about one of the paintings I discovered, because it immediately sent me into dream mode.  I sat and stared at it forever--until Jonathon dragged me out of the room.  But it wasn't just the painting that caught me, it was how it was presented.

With music.

The painting was this one...  (click to get bigger)

The Isle of the Dead by Arnold Böcklin.  It's beautiful, mysterious and it touched me in a way some art can.  But like I said, what made it better was the museum combined it with music, and not just any music.  They used Rachmaninov's - The Isle of the Dead, Op. 29 as a background, and I have to say, as you sit in a darkened room staring at the painting and listening, it was a completely different experience.  One I'll never forget.   

Try it for yourself.  Dim the lights and click on the picture above.  Make it larger so you can get the full affect.  The click on the videos below, sit back and dream...

Part One
Part Two

I'm not a classical music type of gal, but this opened up a brand new world for me.  They had several of this sort of display in the exhibit, but this, out of all of them, was the one that grabbed me.  That's the thing about museums.  Not just what you can see, but what they make you feel. 

Culture for me is just a stepping stone to more dreaming. 

See you on Wednesday!!!

PS...Tell me what YOU think in the comments below!  I'd love to know if it rocked your world or left you cold.


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Phylis said...

I'm gonna listen some more tomorrow but I had to leave a comment. I think that is a pretty cool way to display art. I love classical music. Not all of it, some of it leaves me cold. lol The used book store plays the public radio station, I just love going in there and zoning out to books and music. Rachmaninov is one of my favorite composers because they used his music in the movie "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve. Absolutely beautiful and haunting. I lucked out to like a wide range of music because my dad listened to classical, mom did classic country and then I listened in the 70's. This is great CJ! Thanks for sharing it.

CJ England said...

I agree, Phylis. I love this type of thing and will look for it in other museums.

Ray said...

This takes me back to English class in Junior High School As we listened to The Painted Desert with the album cover visible and wrote whatever came into our minds as we listened. It was so easy. The next class we did the same thing to the music of The Man With The Golden Arm, theme from a Frank Sinatra movie. I would really love the museum.

I have a link to the Louvre. I wonder if pulling up some of the paintings and listening to classical music would work if I turned the lights out. I may try late tonight.

CJ England said...

You had a great teacher, Ray. That's a great way to teach kids how to write. Once you said it, I remembered doing the same when I taught my kids. I just had forgotten, so this isn't new to me after all. Maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much as well.

Let me know how it goes with the Louvre. It's one of my favorite places on the planet and the art...I have no words.

Phylis said...

I remember in a science class watching a film on the Grand Canyon. It was going through all 4 seasons and it was done to classical music. Can't remember which one but it was great! That would have and would be a great way to learn to write Ray.

CJ England said...

That's awesome. I wonder how many times we've seen something like that and not known it was classical.