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Posts Tagged ‘Dies Irae’

Came across a blogpost from back in 2009 had a piece of music that I couldn’t remember. Playing it this morning fascinated me and I listened to it a few times. It’s a big loud choral piece with ominous sounding Latin lyrics and a thumping percussion rhythm that drives it forward in a way that makes it feel as though it is absolutely unstoppable.

It’s a piece called Dies Irae from a 2005 work, Requiem, from the contemporary Welsh classical composer Karl Jenkins. Dies Irae translates as Day of Wrath and the tone of this piece has that feel, without a doubt. Powerful stuff.

It certainly woke me up this morning. I found myself wanting to be able to paint with that kind of feel. It’s something I can;t explain fully. I see big slashes of color and full sweeps of the arm across the surface with my feet set wide apart in front of the easel as though I was delivering body blows to the canvas. Primal. No delicacy here, no up close touches of paint. Every stroke a deep mark, a bruise, on the surface.

Like I said, I can’t really explain it.

But here it is along a video comprised of apocalyptic imagery, most from the artist Alfred Kubin who I have featured here in the past. The piece at the top, Into the Unknown, is from Kubin. It may startle you awake or, at least, stir  something deep within you.

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dsc_0393-small-snakes1Saturday morning, the sun is shining and I find myself cautiously optimistic.  It makes me somewhat suspicious.  

So let me show a small piece that I recently finished, simply called Snakes for the time being.  It’s the type of piece I like to do periodically to more or less cleanse the palette, clear the head and try to reboot the brain.  Shake things up a bit.  I’ve done others like this, some with fish-like squiggles in a swirl, and find myself strangely drawn to them.

I like the abstract quality and and I like the process of painting them, weighing each new element as its added against the existing pieces of the picture.  Like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that changes with each piece that goes together.  

I guess I used snakes for this composition for their shapes and flexibility of form.  I have nothing against snakes but I’m not a big fan of handling them and when I run across them I give them their space.  This past year we stumbled across one basking in the sun behind my studio.  He was coiled in a pile like a short piece of thick black hose.  Must have been at least an inch thick with slightly blacker markings running up each side of his dark length, biggest snake I’ve seen around our place.  We gave him some room.  Later, after looking up what type he might have been we concluded he was some sort of rattler (we couldn’t see his tail’s end) or ratsnake.  Impressive.

How that brings us to this piece of music makes little sense.  This is a piece from Karl Jenkins, his version of Dies Irae, which translates as Day of Wrath, taken from the  Latin hymn of the 13th or 14th century.  I guess the suspicions of my early morning optimism have spawned a severe reaction in that I find myself playing a piece of music based on the biblical Day of Judgement .  Go figure.  Make of it what you will…

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