week 13: Gerda Tobler's

The Art

MusenKuss (für D.S.), by Gerda Tobler
Rückseite, Öl und Collage auf Japanischem Sperholtz, 31.4 x 31.8 cm, 2007

website: http://www.gerdatobler.ch/

"MusenKuss" by Gerda Tobler, oil & collage on Japanese plywood, 31.4 x 31.8 cm

“MusenKuss” by Gerda Tobler, oil & collage on Japanese plywood, 31.4 x 31.8 cm

 

 

The Music

“Kissing Your Muse” (4:57 mins), © Helen Davey
(for 8 voices, spoken words, accordion and piano)

 

 

Artist’s notes

Gerda Tobler’s comments on  “MusenKuss” (“Kiss of the Muse”)

Swiss artist Gerda Tobler has a background in painting and drawing. In recent years, she has moved toward working as a political and cultural activist with her art making. I will present Gerda’s notes here first in German, then in English.

ein Bild zum Glück – Auftragskunst für ZeitgenossInnen

Kunst ist für Vieles gut, zB auch für die Mehrung von (Selbst)Erkenntnis und Glück. Denn jeder glückliche Mensch ist Ausdruck gelingenden Lebens. Das wiederum beglückt direkt und indirekt die Gemeinschaft der Menschen und unseren Planeten, Mutter Erde. Darum bin ich seit etlichen Jahren nicht nur eine freie, sondern auch eine AuftragsMalerin: Ich male für Sie Ihr ganz persönliches Wunsch-Bild zum Glück. Nachdem Sie zuerst Ihre verborgene wie Ihre gelebte Glückspur (aber auch die Krisen und Unglückspfade) erkundet haben, sprechen wir darüber – so tiefgründig oder diskret, wie Sie es wünschen.

Dieser „MusenKuss zB resultiert aus dem langen Gespräch mit einem grossherzigen, gesellschaftlich und politisch engagierten Zeitgenossen, der sich die Freiheit nimmt (und somit das Glück hat), das Mass seiner Arbeit und seines Einkommens selbst zu bestimmen. Er liebt die Musse und das einfache DA-Sein-Können. (Das wünscht er übrigens auch allen Erdbewohnern und trägt selber gerne und tätig dazu bei.) Zeit zum Leben zieht er dem HabenWollenMüssen vor. Er liebt das gute Lesen & Schreiben, geniesst dankbar Speis & Trank und sowieso alle Gaben & Schönheiten der Natur, der Liebe und der Freundschaften. Die russischen Maler und Komponisten des frühen 20. Jh. und der poetisch-verspielt-absurde Schalk der DADAisten jener Zeit inspirieren ihn wiederum zu eigenem kreativem Schaffen. Das ist für ihn Glück pur. Dieses Bild dient seiner ErInnerung – falls er sich doch wieder mal in irgendeinem Müssen verlieren sollte…
Mehr zum Projekt auf  http://www.gerdatobler.ch/Kunst/einBildZumGlueck/index.php (nur auf Deutsch)

A picture for happiness – commissioned art for contemporary people

Art is good for many things, e.g. also to increase (self-) insights and happiness. Because every happy human is the expression of successful living, that in turn makes the community of humans and our planet, mother Earth, happy – directly and indirectly.  This is why I have been not just a free-lance, but also a commissioned painter for several years: I paint for you, your totally personally requested picture to happiness. Once you have explored your hidden as well as your lived happiness trajectory (but also crises and misfortune paths), we talk about this – as deeply or discreetly as you wish.

The Kiss of the Muse” resulted for instance, from the long conversation with a generous, socially and politically involved contemporary person who takes the freedom (and therefore has the luck/happiness), to decide his preferred amount of work and level of income. He loves his leisure time and simply being here. (This happiness he wishes for all earthlings and likes to contribute to that goal). He prefers time to live rather than being driven by “HaveWantMust”. He loves good reading and writing, gratefully enjoys food and drink and all the gifts and beauty of nature, of love and of friendships. The Russian painters and composers of the early twentieth century and the poetic-playful-absurd wit of the DADAists of that time, inspire him to be creative himself. That is pure happiness. This picture serves him as a reminder – in case he should loose himself in some Must again…

“MusenKuss”  is one in a series of comissioned works in Gerda Tobler’s project “Commissioned art for contemporary people”. You can view this series at this link
NB text in German. “YAY” say the German speaking Swissies 🙂

detail, MUS(S)ENKUSS the hammock

detail from “MusenKuss” the hammock

My Music

I love that Gerda has taken so many elements of her client’s “ingredients for happiness” to create this series of artworks. Her project is so personal, it’s such a delightful idea!  This painting jumped out at me, asking to be played with, as a musical collage. The shades of red, alluring lettering and symbols all spiked my curiosity. It was fascinating to hear Gerda discuss how she conveyed her client’s “ingredients”.

As this person is a writer, I was interested to explore the musings of a muse who is providing inspiration to a wordsmith. I’ve toyed with spoken word, touches of two 20th century Russian composers and some DADAisms as a backdrop;  Aside from my own squiggles and verses, I have used some phrases in Gerda’s work, as ostinati – including Goethe’s “Verweile doch du bist so schön”.  I quoted from the opening bars of Stravinsky’s “Symphonies of Wind Instruments” and combined this with a theme from Shostakovich’s Second Waltz (stretched into common time). You’ll also hear 5 lines from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 38, (where he is invoking the tenth muse) and the recited names of the nine muses (daughters of Zeus & Mnemosyne).

It’s synchronous that the day I have worked on the music for Gerda’s commissioned happiness artwork, is also the International day of Happiness (IDH) established by the UN in 2012!  Furthermore, today is the March Equinox, which happens also to mark the first quarter of “Project 52 Sound-Paintings”. It’s been quite a thrill for me to date, revelling in this rich diet of art and 13 artists’ creative processes.

I’m celebrating the first quarter of my project by compiling these first 13 tracks into a digital album. It should be available to buy and download here on March 31.

Thank-you for coming along so far. I’m fascinated by the spaces between the art forms and relationships we have to each other within those spaces. Any comments from you are welcome, not only around that theme.

Wishing you an elated Equinox and IDH celebrations wherever you may be.

Merry musings,
Helen

________________________________________________

8 comments to week 13: Gerda Tobler’s “MusenKuss” (“Kiss of the Muse”)

  • for English version please see below
    ……………………………….

    Liebe Helen, Deine musikalische Interpretation vom “MusenKuss” ist sehr erfrischend, entzückend und spielerisch. Ich mag dieses Collagieren und Verflechten der einst gemalten und nun gesprochenen Worte…
    … mit den vielen DaDa-artigen Wiederholungen und Deinen improvisierten Gedichten,
    … mit Deinen weiteren philosophischen Gedanken und flüchtigen Einblicken (wie Sternschnüppchen) – obwohl ich sie nicht alle ganz genau verstehe, mein englisch reicht da offenbar nicht aus, aber das macht nichts, denn auch Klang und Rhythmus der Worte sind Musik),
    … mit dem “russisch-avantgardistischen Piano” im Hintergrund und der über allem schwebenden melodischen Linie Deiner Stimme (Du bist die Muse)
    Manchmal wird’s auch echt lustig. Und Dein Akzent im Deutsch resp. Schwiizertütsch ist charmant.
    Danke, Helen!
    Ich werde diesen Musik-Link an den Auftraggeber und Besitzer vom “MusenKuss” weiterleiten. Nimmt mich wunder, wie er’s mag. Sehr wahrscheinlich wird er sehr überrascht sein, denn er weiss noch nichts von diesem Projekt.

    …………………………………….
    Dear Helen, your interpretation of “MusenKuss” has a very refreshing, delightful and playful touch. I like your collageing and interweaving the once painted and now spoken words…
    … with the many dada-like repetitions and your improvised poems,
    … with your further philosophical thoughts and glimpses (like fallings stars) – though I don’t understand them all, my English seems not to be sufficient, but this doesn’t really matter, since sound and rythm of the words are music, too,
    … with the “Russian avantgarde piano” in the background and the constantly floating melodic line of your voice (you’re the muse!).
    And sometimes it’s getting really funny.
    Your accent in German and in the Swiss dialect (Schwiizertütsch) is charming.
    Thank you, Helen!
    I will send this music-link to the commissioner and owner of “MusenKuss”, wondering how he will like it. He will certainly be very surprised, since he doesn’t yet know anything about this project.

    • Helen

      Liebe Gerda, gärn g’sche!
      I’ bi ufg’schtellt das du ‘s so gärn häsch. Es berühet mi das du finsch miis strophe wie schternli UND … das du “russisch-avantgardistischen Piano” im miini schpiele hörscht isch di hammer 🙂
      S’freumi was diini Auftraggeber für “MusenKuss” sait au…
      Herzlich gruessli.

      ……………….
      Dear Gerda, you’re so welcome!
      I’m elated you like it so much. It’s touching that you find my verses like little stars AND…. that you hear Russian avantgarde piano in my playing takes the cake 🙂
      I’m also looking forward to what your commisioner for MusenKuss says….
      Heartfelt greetings.

  • I cannot add anything to Gerda’s comments. Well said. Love the tapestry of words and time, dissonance and melody. Audio collage, excellent parallel. Shakespeare and Shostakovich, forsooth! You caught it.

  • I really enjoyed this one, Helen. My one word for the year is HAPPY. there were many sweet moments in you piece that brought a happy smile. Congratulations on completing your first quarter – time to celebrate. And I appreciate your idea, Gerda, for commissioned art for contemporary people.

    • Helen

      Ha! What a great word to carry through a year. Thanks for your congrats Kathleen. I love Gerda’s CAFCP idea too. Bring on the musical commisions 🙂

  • Kate

    Language through music through art deepens the communication and Helen Davey makes it FUN!!!!

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