Jack Fisher's ELELEL

The Art 

ELELEL   by Jack Fisher
"ELELEL" by Jack Fisher

“ELELEL” by Jack Fisher


The Music

*Ode to ELELEL (5:11 mins) © Helen Davey
(for accordion, spoken word, prepared piano, found objects, scallop shells, E-bow, piano, assorted mallets, half rubber disc)

* You can view the lyrics by double clicking – Ode to ELELEL (written in purple, directly above the player  button).

Artist Notes

Jack Fisher
ELELEL is part of my abstract contexts portfolio and follows a process I am developing as an exercise in high abstraction. The process begins with a text and design layer that reflects moods and thoughts at the time. A second layer ignores the first layer except for design cues and semiotic suggestions. All of this takes place disregarding any pictorial or representational possibilities, resulting in a composition with text and design.

detail_Jack Fisher_ELELEL

(detail) Jack Fisher’s “ELELEL”

My third layer creates a series of delineations, black outlines, holding the composition together. these are definitions of non-objects since nothing is pictorial and the delineation defines whatever appears within its outline. I have a portfolio of such works. The final step is an expansion of the outlines until they become contexts, which is a more powerful definition, still surrounding non-objects. the process assures that any narrative is purely a function of suggestion and a play on the semiotics and composition itself, meant to stimulate the imagination and provoke articulation of purely abstract considerations.

My Music
Following on from Jack’s process, I worked in layers, taking on the prominent shapes, dynamics, numeric and alphabetic symbols as the structural elements of my first layer. I took 9 as the uppermost measure of rhythm and used sixteenths as the division. You can hear these as repeated sequences of “dots” echoing the dots in Jack’s work.There are many sections in the music where 5, 6, 7 or 8 take charge of the time signature, but these sections move and replace each other as it seems to me there is alot of movement in this artwork. 

I used many mallets on different surfaces (piano strings, paper, wood, plastic, brass and steel), for these changing time signatures. You’ll notice a little clatter at the end of the piece (I let a mallet fall into the piano freely) which denotes the red paint dribbling down from the centre of Jack’s ELELEL (see detail).

many mallets(for the dots), scallop shells & E_bow

many mallets (for the dots), scallop shells & E-bow

It was especially fun trying to ignore the first layer whilst doing the second aside from those structural cues (as per Jack’s process)! To evoke Jack’s “outlining” in black, I alternated between using thin and thick timbres of the accordion and piano to frame parts of the music. For the curved and straight outlines of the artwork, I used a rubber half disc to “roll” or “print” respectively onto the piano keys. You can see what I mean on this little video: how to make curvy & straight sounds 

We experience visual spaces in the painting, so in turn, I  broke up the musical intensity with more spacious interludes. For me, there is a 3 dimensional quality in the artwork; I see suspended entities within the contextual frameworks – these are what I wanted to create as focal sections in my music.   

That just about rounds up week 20 of project 52 . Already we’re heading toward the half way mark – just over a month away.
I really welcome your feedback and please share this around to anyone interested in art, music & cross-arts thing-a-me-jigs (via those little icons below).
Thanks and wishing you well-el-el-el
from H-el-el-el-en

6 comments to Jack Fisher’s ELELEL

  • Well, you both certainly got my attention. Lots of charming organized chaos going on here, with glimpses deep into the layers, and skids across the surface of vision and sound. The colors of both painting and music are bright and alluring. Well done, both, and may this complex, disorderly order with its polka-dotted surface and depth continue.

    • Helen

      Bronle, I like your descriptive “skids across the surface of vision and sound” alot. I was thinking about contexts of thoughts & abstraction and doing my best not to objectify them, as I often “hear” objects… so I was rather attempting to music (that’s a verb) my way through the abstracts; in the process, I often found myself “landing” on a surface that was solidifying into something I was trying to avoid… so I’d jump off again into another space, seeking a different abstract context. I think I could have gone on for days…

  • Fiona

    God that was good. Woke up this morning feeling lethargic and burdened with Stuff. Pressed the button and was bathed in this playful, rich, beautifully crafted soundscape. Am just about to press the button again. And maybe again!
    Thank you Helen.

  • karin

    What fun, refreshing, ear-washing, heart-tickling, stomach-buzzing sounds-music-landscape !
    I feel as if I had drunken a bottle of sparkling wine ! hicks, thanks

    • Helen

      Karin, that is SUCH a compliment – thank you so much. Love the thought of my music being an aural version of bubbly ! HA! 🙂

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>