Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Challenge of Music!

Welcome to a very special Wednesday post!Link
I'm participating in Erin's Challenge of Music. The other participants and I were challenged to pick a song and design an accessory based on it -- a physical interpretation of sound. After going to a Zoe Keating concert in Chicago a few weeks ago, I had my inspiration. Specifically, her song Exurgency, which she played at the concert, and which is my favorite.

For those of you who don't know, Zoe Keating is a cellist. She uses technology to record and layer multiple tracks so it sounds like she's playing with an orchestra. Not only does she do this with her recordings... but she does this live, too!

Seeing her in person is incredible. She's a gifted performer as well as musician, keeping her audience entertained with anecdotes (and sometimes orchestra jokes) while she tunes her instrument. My favorite was one about living in a factory building with a bunch of other musicians and playing impromptu concerts while the audience was stretched out on futons. I would have loved to have been there for that!

Here's what I created based on her music:

This necklace is called So Many Permutations. Zoe confessed during the concert that she creates several variations of every piece, and that choosing just one to add to an album can be hard. She makes up for this by playing any version she likes when she's performing live. As a jewelry artist who gets multiple idea for a single piece, I get this, and I appreciate it.

This necklace represents a pattern I see in Zoe's work, especially the music she plays live. It starts off small and simple, then gradually builds to something larger, with more layers and textures, until it swells and fills the whole room.

It reminds me of the concert in a literal way, too. She was wearing a black shirt with sparkly silver accents (in Vanessa's words, she was a ninja cello goddess). Under her black pants, she wore leggings with crazy abstract floral designs in orange, black and white, which is where I got the idea for the focal piece.

Every time I look at this necklace, the song plays in my head, and I can't help but feel happy. That day was a reminder to me that there's still magic in the world, for lack of a better word. Fantastic things happen all around us. It's just a matter of opening up to them, letting them devour us, even if it's just for a few hours.

Thanks for reading this post, whether you're a participant, a regular reader, or a musician. I hope you'll love Zoe's work as much as I do, and I hope you'll visit the other participants! I can't wait to see what music they've chosen and what they've made.

Also, if you haven't read my reveal post for the Mystery Project, you can do that here!

And finally... have a sequintastic day!

45 comments:

  1. I played the viola in grade school and middle school and always wished I had chosen the cello instead. Zoe's music is beautiful ... and so is your necklace!

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    1. Thanks, Lola! :)

      You know... it's never too late to pick up the cello!

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    1. Thanks, Lori! <3

      I have to admit, certain aspects of seed beads still allude me. I can do the embroidery, but the weaving looks so intimidating!

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  3. What a beautiful post and your inspiration show through fabulously.

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    1. Thanks, Kristen! I'm so glad I found the right song to inspire me.

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  4. Lovely necklace! I like how you were inspired by both the song and the concert experience and the style of the musician herself.

    Zoe was a new name to me so it was interesting to hear her music.

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    1. Thank you, Maneki!

      I'm glad I could introduce you to a new musician!

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  5. Oh, I love the cello, and this piece of work is amazing. I can completely see where this stunning necklace came from!

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    1. Thank you, Holly!

      After discovering Zoe's music, I'm definitely a cello fan. Never really had a preference until then, but I love the unconventional sounds she mixes with the traditional ones!

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  6. What a beautiful story of inspiration, and your embroidered piece is so pretty!

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    1. Thank you, Amy!

      Getting to go to the concert was like a dream -- especially since I ended up in the front row! Next to someone who'd never seen Zoe perform live before, actually. I liked watching his reaction. :)

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  7. I got so lost in the music I forgot to comment, so I ran back! What a fantastic piece of music and a truly talented musician. Love your necklace and how you received your inspiration for it. It is so pretty and "Up" :-) I am hitting play again because this Cello playing is THAT good. If it is strings, I will listen!

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    1. Christine,

      Yay!!! That's exactly the reaction I was looking for. Zoe's music holds a lot of importance to me, and one of my goals was to find some new fans for her. :)

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  8. I love this bright and cheery necklace! I'm amazed when anyone can make something out of these litte beads. I'm going back now to listen to your inspiration music.

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    1. Thank you, Alice!

      It seems like the itty bitty beads intimidate a lot of people. Sometimes they still intimidate me! But oh, they're fun to play with.

      I hope you enjoy the music!

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  9. The concert sounds great, and it's nice that you now have a necklace to remind you of it! Great job.

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    1. Cynthia,

      It really was a great concert! Having the necklace to remind me of it really is nice -- it's a step beyond just having a photo. :)

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  10. Sarah,

    Great job, I love the way you layered it. Soup is done:-)

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    1. Thanks, Sandi!

      Ohhhh, I can't wait to see what you made with your bead soup!

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  11. Wow what a fascination revelation from a musician that she has many permutations of a song!! I had never considered that before. You necklace is truly magical xoxo Beth

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    1. I'd never considered it, either. It was a really cool to find out that artists who work with such different mediums can go through the same process.

      Thanks, Beth!

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  12. That experience must have been incredible!! She sounds like the most fascinating person and her music is incredible! Wow!!! New find for me :) Thank you!!!

    Your necklace is just beautiful! I love the way you describe it, and why it is what it is. Seems just perfect to me. <3

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    1. It really was incredible -- I'm not sure how I could top that weekend!

      I'm so glad I could introduce you to a new artist! Mission accomplished. :)

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  13. Cello is a very soulful sound. Like the simplicity of your design. Clean and crisp.

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    1. Soulful. That's a very good way to describe it!

      Thanks, Cece!

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  14. Love the song and I love how you came up with your piece - fantastic job!

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  15. Reminds me of an exotic fruit. Cool piece!

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    1. I can totally see that! Now I have a fruit craving. :)

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  16. Ooh! New music to crush on! I am amazed that this rich and resonant sound is coming from one artist, one instrument. There is a powerful and measured undertone to this. I get this pendant, the sound waves that are created like rippling patterns. I also love that you were inspired by what she was wearing! I hope you will send her a link to your blog post to tell her how much this song isnpired you! Thank you for sharing your music personality with us and for playing with me!
    Enjoy the day!
    Erin

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    1. I'm so glad I could introduce you to new music!

      Oh, I never thought about the sound waves rippling in the pendant. I wonder if I did that unconsciously?

      Thanks for hosting such an awesome challenge! I look forward to the next one.

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  17. I love the cello and I really like this artist-thanks so much for sharing. The layering was fabulous. What a wonderful necklace she inspired you to make. I am so in awe of all you bead weavers!!!!

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    1. I'm happy that you enjoy Zoe's music! She's wonderful, and I love that she's a self-representing artist.

      Thanks for your lovely compliment on the necklace!

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  18. That is a fabulous piece of music and a fabulous necklace a well. I love the way the music was so simple and so complex at the same time. I guess the same could be said for beading. :) Your beadwork is impressive.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked the music and the necklace! Simple and complex at the same time... a great way to describe both. :)

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  19. Thank you for turning me on to Zoe Keating I sat back and closed my eyes and listened as she played and my mind started seeing rain drops falling and turning into a rain shower with people running to get out of the rain. Your necklace reminds me of the ripples from a rain drop in a puddle of water and the orange and black are like the sounds of Zoe's music. Beautiful music and a beautiful necklace.
    Therese

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    1. Therese, I'm so glad I could introduce you to a new artist, and one whose music gave you such a pretty mental image. :)

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  20. What a sonic journey that was - it must have been so cool to see and hear her perform live! I like how you captured both the feeling of the music and the visual memories of the concert in this piece -- to me, the necklace mixes mystery and joy.

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    1. Thanks, Bobbie! <3

      The concert was one of the coolest things I've experienced. I love watching Zoe play, not just because of all the cool tech stuff she does, but also because of her expression -- you can tell she really loves her music!

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  21. Fantastic - I love what you do with seed beads!

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    1. Thanks! I love working with those little guys -- they're a ton of fun. :)

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  22. Loving the orange!

    http://styleservings.blogspot.com/

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