Music into Art”

In celebration of the installation of the Hill Organ at Christ Church, Wanstead, students from art classes at Wanstead House Community Association run by Redbridge Institute of Adult Education were invited to take part in this Heritage Lottery Funded Education Project.

Our theme, “Music into Art”, was inspired by seeing the organ as it was being rebuilt and listening to the sounds of the pipes as it was being tuned. We thought about how its internal components, their patterns and shapes, could relate to the sound of the organ. As one student observed, “The inside of the organ looks like the sound that the organ can make”.

In the real world the different senses, sight and sound, smell and taste and touch, work together to give us a sense of place; in the arts, these elements often appear isolated: music, art, literature or the spoken word, and architecture, for example. But in reality, as well as in the creative process, they have much in common. In an environment like Christ Church, you can see all of these disciplines and more working together to a common end.

A recurring theme of the project was to explore how artists might visualize music or sounds. , However, students, followed many and varied routes.

·Most of the group spent time drawing in and around the church. 
·Some students used drawings and photos of the organ as a starting point.
·The sound of the organ as it was being tuned informed the work of others.
·Some used these Impressions to produce their own Compositions in the studio.
·Workshops were held in which students listened to music and sounds - we explored how these could be “made visual”. These Improvisations are grouped together.

We observed, we composed, we improvised and many of us found new and exciting ways of working. Collaborating with other disciplines and with different groups of people in this project was a rewarding and liberating experience - the work can be seen at
www.wansteadhouse.co.uk

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