T. Nikki Cesare - 2004
"Dimensions of Home: The Music
of John Luther Adams and the Artwork of Claire Seidl"
The International Contemporary Ensemble
and Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art, April 8
Notions of home play in abstract swipes across Claire Seidl's
paintings, coming slightly more into focus in the domestically
inclined images of backyards, screen doors and little girls
playing with sparklers. The light that appears seemingly
of its own accord suggests the slow passage of time in the
familial hours of summer dusk. This same slowness of time
is reflected in the sonic landscapes of John Luther Adams,
music, which creates a warm space around the audience that
belies the Alaskan scenery that inspires it.
None of this, however, allows for the audience to relax
into the spectoral and auditory experience. Rather, these
panoramas of daily life inspire movement through them, much
like light's shimmering movement across the ice. Though
the diatonic "cloud music" of The Light that Fills
the World, which reminds the listener of Adams' monumental
90-minute In the White Silence for string orchestra and
octet, creates a meditational space of audition, the sharpness
of the snare drum solos brings the audience back to the
frigid landscape like the breaking of the ice in spring.
Though Seidl's photographs always suggest a presence, her
paintings, like Adams' compositions, often create a space
either without a figure or with a figure veiled from direct
view. It is into this space that the audience member steps,
filling an absence as if crossing a threshold. In both the
visual and aural experiences of this Sound/Image Event,
the artist and composer re-create the space of their own
homes throught their work, inviting the audience member
to make her way through it at her own pace.