week 8: Felice Panagrosso's

The Art

©2008 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Canvas  48 x 24 inches  Sold

326x704_samuel on the stairs

“Samuel”, by Felice Panagrosso (Oil on Canvas 48 x 24 inches)


The Music 

“TIME PASSES” (6:19 mins) © Helen Davey
(for hand wound music box, piano, two glockenspiels and metallophone)


Artist’s Notes

Felice Panagrosso’s art work

Regarding “Samuel” or “Boy on Staircase”: A boy – my son – turns not away, but inward.  Absorbed in his task at hand.  Building, discovering or simply observing. He is unaware, for now, of the new day, the new wonders, the new opportunities it will bring.  He is not aware that I am observing him, and the warm light that surrounds and envelopes him.

The door faces east so the entryway was flooded with early morning light. The walls are “white,” and I tried to capture all of the reflective colors possible on the walls ceiling and door. I was struck by the fleeting nature of light, and of childhood.
At the bottom of the stairs, Sam, while bathed in that light is oblivious to it, and to the passage of time, simply focused on his project, a child at play.

detail "Samuel" the fleeting nature of light and childhood

detail “Samuel” the fleeting nature of light and childhood

My music

I was so delighted with the light in this painting and quite taken by Felice linking the passage of time with the fleeting nature of light, and of childhood . It reminded of a poem by Nancy Cato called “Time Passing” 

….So the simplest scene may be imbued, transfigured
With a sense of time passing, when music plays;
And so the face of a loved one grows
More beautiful as the boat’s last whistle blows.

 (from her poetry collection,”The Dancing Bough” (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1957).
see the poem here




I wanted to give a sense of arresting a moment in time – the way we see things sometimes when we are in the nowness of things. So I decided to try to capture that “snapshot” by drawing it out with the chimes of a clock playing a melody, (instead of chimming the eternal, regulations of time).

I chose the glockenspiel and recorded it in two parts that are “magnified” by it’s big brother, the metalaphone.
Of course the hand turned music box is there for when little Samuel was at play.

hand-wound music box

hand-wound music box









As we witness January come to a close (already!), I hope you’ve  enjoyed this focus on enjoying the sense of time passing.  I’ll be on leave for three weeks so the next post will be February 21.

I’d LOVE to hear what you hear/see in these artworks via the comments section below;  please feel free to share this around to anyone interested in art / music via the icons below. If you fancy just listening, there’s more of my music here  

Thanks for passing your time here,


15 comments to week 8: Felice Panagrosso’s “Boy On The Stairs”

  • Charming. Yes, the music box is a lovely note; memory of childhood is instantly triggered. Almost tearfully poignant, Helen and Felice, both; I am so proud of the adults they are, but I so miss my little kids… .

  • Helen

    Bronle – thank you so much for your comments. There were so many threads to weave from this piece; I could have played many movements, like “missing” and “wonderment” and “play” and “memory” and “who we become”…

  • What does a painting sound like? « Felice Panagrosso

    […] to music.  My painting is eighth in a series of 52 pieces of art in her current project “Project 52 Sound-Paintings.”  Fifty-two musical compositions in response to fifty-two artists over fifty-two weeks.   I am […]

  • Silvia

    I am enchanted by “Time Passes” – not only because of the music box!! You captured the quiet wondering of little Samuel as well as the wonderful light very, very well with your tune. Thank you especially for this jewel – as well as all the others of project 52.

  • Silvia, Thanks so much for your comment. So glad my music captures something of this beautiful painting for you.

  • Markus Twerenbold

    Hi Helen
    thanx for “Time Passes”. I just spent a quiet moment of meditation listening to your sound painting to “Boy on Staircase” in your loungeroom in zurich. It’s amazing how the staircase in your home, looks like the one in the painting, especially this morning, as the winter-sun was shining brightly.

  • Helen

    Hey Markus,

    I hadn’t made that connection (re the similarity between Felice’s painiting and our place) until now – how right you are, down to the layout of the respective doorways and direction of the incoming morning light.
    Intriguing to imagine this from the other side of the world, where the Summer sun is blazing, but on his way down for the day; thanks for making that connection and see you soon 🙂

  • […] Earlier this month:  My painting “SAMUEL”,  was set to music by the Australian composer Helen Davey.  Click Here, to listen. […]

  • Tania Chambers

    Tender, beautiful and evocative, thank you Helen.

  • Mary Panagrosso

    Simply beautiful… It brought me to tears.

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