by Annie Tanella
Art inpires music as students from Mr. Roy Chambers’ Foundations of Art classes and Ms. Sharon Reynolds’ Writing and Arranging classes are currently working together to create original compositions in a project called “Sights and Sounds,” according to Chambers.
The art students listened to different genres of music and used synaesthetics, or the ability to see sound as color, to imagine the song as a painting, according to Chambers. They drew spontaneous sketches for each song they heard, which they developed into an abstract painting.
Next, each Writing and Arranging student chose one of these paintings to inspire a song.
“My ‘Sights and Sounds’ piece is based on a work that is featured in a space-like atmosphere.... The instrumentation is a simple marimba and piano duet,” said junior and Writing and Arranging student Jon Clancy.
According to Chambers, the compositions will be presented June 12 during Periods 7 and 8 in the auditorium.
Senior Henry Hershey, a Writing and Arranging student, composed an original piece for the class, titled “Sound the Thunder,” which was performed at WHS Chorale’s Spring Fest on March 22 and the spring chorus concert on May 23, according to Hershey.
“I knew I wanted to go for a subtle, southern rock-sounding tone but with a really sweet four-part harmony for a medium sized ensemble,” said Hershey. “I tried to juxtapose the sweet melodies with powerful moments like a thunderstorm.
According to Hershey, the performances featured himself on piano, senior Nick Ertman on guitar, Clancy on drums, and the Chorale.
Junior Eric Mikalauskas also recently composed an original work with the help of Orchestra Teacher Mr. Raymond Wojcik.
Mikalauskas said, “I was inspired largely by composers of British folk music... On a more practical note, as Mr. Wojcik has said, ‘There’s no greater inspiration than a deadline.’”
Said Mikalauskas: “First, I thought about what type of piece I wanted to write, and came up with themes that fit that sound world. From there, I continued to develop my material with a map in mind of where I wanted to go.”
He added, “I take private lessons with Mr. Wojcik, and so [I] would show him my progress, he would comment, and I would make changes accordingly until the piece was finished.”
The WHS Chamber Orchestra performed the piece “A Festive Night on the Isle of Skye” on May 9.