Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Improvising ~ Coltrane and a commission gets me thinking


Rainbow Starflower by Nutmeg Designs, glass on wood, 7 inches, ©2012


I once heard and have since forgotten the number of times John Coltrane recorded My Favorite Things, but what really matters is how many times he explored its being. The change that emerged could be staggering if one jumps from the first to the last. What is you could hike the musical path he created with his love of exploration.  If someone, who only knew of the first version called out to hear it in concert.... They may be disappointed.  Or they may be transformed themselves.  

We have been asked to recreate the above piece. Our challenge is to make it pleasing to the client while not hindered by trying to make it exact. At this point I can say it might have been more fun to let loose and truly play with the design. 

As an artist, what would you have done?

And I wonder how I would act as a client??? Would I be willing to commission a piece and say, "Make it new. Let the creativity flow?"  I am thinking of doing that with a collage artist.  I desire one of Abby Sernoff's pieces, but how to make that commission still floats in my mind.  

It can be a bit challenging to have open ended commissions, but the results can be so worth it.

I did let Coltrane flow when I made our second version. And that's a good thing. I am thinking about being creative with this design, one that emerged at a silent retreat.

Now be prepared to be taken to a place by someone who has truly explored it ...


10 comments:

  1. What a beautiful piece! I love that idea of trying to recreate it, I hope you got some freedom in recreating it. John Coltrane is wonderful, I'm enjoying this.

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    1. Carol ~ thanks, it was supposed to publish when I was on retreat but luvkilly it did not since it gave me a chance to edit it.

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  2. First, I was reading your lovely blog post and came across my name - I'm very flattered - thank you! Secondly, the work above you've been asked to recreate is beautiful - I can see why you were approached with that request. Third, I had someone commission me to recreate one of my collages exactly. It was interesting because it was a very early work they asked me to re-make, so even though it looked the same, making it again was a very different experience. Fourth, I *love* Favorite Things by John Coltrane and haven't listened to it in years for some reason - thanks for posting the link.
    It is truly amazing how Coltrane was able to take something like the original version and completely transcend it - I didn't know he recorded it several times! I am reminded of when I saw Regina Carter open for McCoy Tyner at the Kimmel Center (name dropping!)- she performed "Little Brown Jug" which she said was her violin practice song when she was a child and that it drove her mother nuts. As a gift to her mother, she recreated it into such a beautiful piece it brought tears to my eyes.
    Anyway, of course I'd be happy to discus a commission any time- old or new (No pressure) all the best, Abby

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    1. Abby~ so much I could say, but let's hope one day we willt have a long conversation about all of this and more. But for now, Regina Carter's version of I'll Be Seeing You has brought tears to my eyes

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  3. I love that particular piece because I love rainbows, but reading your exchange with Abby brought tears of joy to MY eyes!!!

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    1. Snowcatcher ~ OK, enough tears for one night. Rainbows are cool.

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  4. this one reminds me of a rainbow poinsettia...

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  5. Thank you Wayne, for introducing me to a beautiful piece of music. I am not an avid follower of jazz, but like most genres of music I enjoy it! This piece is amazing, as is the work of art you have pictured here!

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    1. Martha ~ so glad you enjoyed it. I heard a version of My Favorite Things this morning but not sure who played it (internet radio)

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