Monday, April 15, 2013

Art For Musicians

The Marriage of Art and Music

Posted By on Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 6:00 AM

For many performing artists, the passion in the music they craft to be heard by the ear is massively eclipsed by the impact they wish it to have upon imagination of the mind. Transporting the listener via sonic escapism, losing oneself in the music, story and themes is all a part of a comprehensive artistic vision. The more unique the vision, the more indelible the experience. These experiences help attract and unite fans under a common theme. And nothing proves a greater gateway and guide to these experiences than the album cover.

click to enlarge alpha_1.jpg

I recall in high school being exposed to the GZA's Liquid Swords project simply by catching a glimpse of the cover. The Denys Cowan's DC Comics-inspired artwork depicted a violent chess board suspended in space, with the chess pieces represented as urban-garbed, modern-day martial arts warriors viciously attacking each other. It was visceral, fantastic, and like nothing I had seen before. Upon listening, I was instantly transported to an audio landscape that matched the sentiment of the cover art perfectly: a further introduction to the Wu-Tang ethos and mythology. I was hooked.

But sometimes, the purpose of an album cover is to also incite controversy as much as it is to hook new fans. Kanye West's artwork for his My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album was commissioned by contemporary American artist George Condo to elicit highbrow art attention, and to ruffle some feathers. The artwork originally depicted an interpretation of a nude Kanye, beer in hand, straddled on a red couch by a topless, armless winged angel. While this cover was banned in the United States, and more 'commercially acceptable' variant covers were released, the message was still clear: the music you are about to experience is brash, unapologetic, artistic and challenging to everything that has been accepted as the norm. And again, many fans became hooked and entranced by the entire experience.

So whether the art that wraps and presents these artistic works of sound to the world are statements of theories, statements of escapism, or merely bold statements, the marriage of arresting visuals and groundbreaking music will forever impact listeners with unforgettable experiences they will pass along and share for generations to come.

And that, dear reader, is art.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Speaking of...

  • Face the Music

    Sleevefacing might not be new, but it's a fun way to engage with music and the art that defines it.
    • Mar 26, 2014
  • Stories of 22 Iconic Album Covers

    Mental Floss has tracked down some interesting tidbits about how a few famous album covers came to be.
    • Aug 11, 2013
  • All Mixed Up, Nice and Yeezy

    Kanye West's new album, Yeezus, is a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
    • Jun 21, 2013
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Well-Endowed Artists

    Jennifer draws Seinfeld-esque parallels to artists' financial challenges with education, but offers easy ways to help.
    • Mar 2, 2016
  • Positive Impressions

    Ben chats with IMA’s artist-in-residence about introducing the process of woodblock printmaking to the masses.
    • Jan 10, 2016

About The Author

The Gentleman Alphonse

The Gentleman Alphonse

Gentleman Alphonse (Alpha) is a well traveled Indiana native, creative consultant, writer, influencer and performing artist. His various clients & services have varied his base between Los Angeles, Chicago & New York. He has been featured in and contributed to NUVO and The Indianapolis Star, and was a Superbowl... more

More by The Gentleman Alphonse

  • Art & Music

    Music Mediums as Art
    • Apr 3, 2013
  • PSA

    Public Statements of Art
    • Mar 22, 2013
  • Missing Out

    How do you find out about all those 'artsy' events everyone is talking about and why should you go once you do?
    • Mar 11, 2013
  • More »

Latest in Sky Blue Blog

  • The Nice Things

    Ben has enjoyed his opportunity to give notice to some of Indy’s 'nice things' with Sky Blue Window readers. He hopes you’ll find and share them too.
    • Mar 9, 2016
  • A Gray Sky-onara

    Dan looks back at some of his most memorable blogs at Sky Blue Window.
    • Mar 8, 2016
  • Well-Endowed Artists

    Jennifer draws Seinfeld-esque parallels to artists' financial challenges with education, but offers easy ways to help.
    • Mar 2, 2016
  • More »
© 2017 CICF
Privacy Policy
Contact Us:
P: 317.634.2423   F: 317.684.0943
Central Indiana Community Foundation
615 N. Alabama St. #119
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-1431
Sky Blue Window is presented by:

Website powered by Foundation