On collaborations in the arts

Music and visual art have always shared a connection, but in this modern age, art and music are meeting on different terms. In the past, it has often been the prerogative of the visual artist to interpret the musician, but today, more musicians are realizing their own visual interpretations.

Radiohead’s 2009 single “These Are My Twisted Words” was released with a series of images that could be overlaid to produce a variety of different album covers. The Arcade Fire’s music video for their single “Neon Bible” was made completely interactive on the band’s website. Depending on where a person clicked on the page, he or she could interact with the music video character in different ways.

These combinations of art and music have expanded to large-scale art performances and installations as well. Last year, the BAM Next Wave Festival commissioned Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner, and Matthew Ritchie to produce a musical about the dawn of time that would go hand in hand with their gallery of sculptures and images. The performance was radical and the art exploratory. To date, I cannot imagine a more inspiring collaboration of music and art.

On March 4, the realms of music and art will once again blend when Animal Collective opens their new installation and musical performance at Manhattan’s Guggenheim Museum. The project, entitled Transverse Temporal Gyrus, will feature the works of artist Danny Perez and promises to be a stunning blend of sounds and art as well as a truly psychedelic experience. It is one of the most anticipated collaborations between art and music, and with the success of Animal Collective’s recent album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, the show is guaranteed to be spectacular.

These advances in the combination of visual art and music are allowing artists to truly explore the boundaries of their medium. We look forward to seeing future collaborations in this arena.

Stephen Epple


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