Music for Discerning and Curious Minds

Decaying

~ Prerecorded Program for Piano and Violin ~

Finding beauty in what is decaying
2:00 pm, January 9, 2022 (ET)

Download the program

This project is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Project Decaying

~ Expression of Beauty in What is Decaying ~

“All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”

Marcel Duchamp, artist

#18: Epilogue

I would like to thank those who tuned in to experience my prerecorded program Decaying. This prerecorded is my response to the theme of finding beauty in what is decaying we have been exploring in Project Decaying. With the release of Decaying, now I must say farewell to this project. Here are two beautiful quotes on decaying sound and emotions, shared by Jeanne Vote, a musician currently living in Washington D.C:

“…When a pianist strikes a key, a hammer collides with a matching string inside his (her) instrument and sets it to vibrating at its characteristic frequency. As amplitude of vibration declines, the sound falls off and dies away. Emotions operate in an analogous way…”

“…As neural activity diminishes, feeling intensity decreases, but some residual activity persists in those circuits after a feeling is no longer perceptible…”

from Geometry of Grief by Michael Frame

Sharing these compelling words is a perfect way to conclude this project.


#17: Drawing by Louise Savvas

Find all the treasures hidden in this captivating artwork “Back to Nature,” submitted by Louise Savvas, an eighth grader from Maryland.

“The wolf’s fur is turning mossy, creating the perfect spot for mushrooms and small sprouting plants. In the Native American culture, a butterfly or moth symbolizes metamorphosis or change, which could be considered as something related to decay. The faded moth on the wolf’s chest further symbolizes the wolf’s changing self. Small flowers are sprouting from the old antler the wolf is holding in its mouth. This shows that life can rise out of the ashes of death, which decay can portray as well.”


#16: Photography by Brian Ganz

Enjoy this beauty of contrast captured by Brian Ganz, a concert pianist who has been my teacher and mentor for the last ten years. The setting, especially the reflection in water, evokes the ethereal quality that I sense from the paintings by Japanese artist Kaii Higashiyama. To learn more about Brian Ganz, please visit http://www.brianganz.net.

“I took this photograph while visiting my son in Waltham, Massachusetts, outside of Boston, in July of 2021. We were walking outside of his apartment building along the Charles River. Everything was lush and green in the height of summer, and most trees and grasses blended together in a rich background of thriving life. Then a single tree which appeared from across the river to be dead and decaying stood out from the surrounding green. What struck me was that it was its very decay that allowed the tree to emerge visibly (and stunningly) from the background of vibrant green.”


#15: Photography by Mark Ross

Let us slowly go back into the woods… Here are a few images captured during a birding hike by Mark Ross, a wonderful avocational pianist.

“The old cut log has a perfect open-circle cross section, like a clock or a wheel, as if to say here’s the forest regenerating itself over time. The large standing snag looks spooky on the one hand, but on the other hand it also looks like an inviting shelter for forest creatures.”


#14: Photography by Charles Williams

Here is a photograph that immediately grabbed my attention partly because I could not understand what I was seeing, which almost made me feel that I was seeing what I should not be seeing. This image titled “Late Fall” was shared by Charley, a sophomore majoring in art at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.


#13: Papercraft by Hideo Lagan

This card was submitted by Hideo Lagan from California together with the notes below. There is something poignant about decaying roses perhaps because of the meaning we (arbitrarily) attach to the flower. To learn more about Hideko’s papercraft, please visit https://papercraft-boutique.blogspot.com/.

“I made this card to express the fleeting beauty of these decaying flowers against the timeless elegance of stone. Both will ultimately fade away, but each provides beauty in its own life span.”


#12: Reverse Glass Painting (And More…) by Rachel Buxton

In this post, I would like to share “Growth and Change,” created by Rachel Buxton, a graphic designer/project manager at AdsIntelligence Marketing. Knowing her especially as a compelling soprano, I must say this artwork is so “Rachel.” To learn more about Rachel, please visit RachelBuxton.com.

“On one side you can see a skull buried underground with the roots of the beautiful rose transforming it and also drawing nutrients from the soil which has been enriched by the decay of that body. On the other side you can only see the rose, grass and fallen leaves.”

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