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The Four Musicians

Last Autumn season, 2021, I had a solo exhibition at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art in their glass atrium. The most exciting project for me was a collaboration with my son, Nick Tipp, an audio engineer who lives in Los Angeles. I made four musicians in wire netting with instruments, mostly of wire and found metal tubing. They were a bassist, a violinist, a flutist and an oboist. I put small compartments in their torsos to hold mini speakers. In September, the week before the exhibition opened, Nick drove north from LA with a portable console and special device that would allow a variety of music tracks to play simultaneously through the speakers.

I chose favorite sections from a Grammy-nominated choral and symphonic composition that Nick had produced - Pieces that Fall to Earth, by Christopher Cerrone. Nick put the tracks for the flute and soprano into the flutist speaker, the strings into the violinist speaker, the medium tone voices and winds into the oboist, and all the low tones into the bassist. When a visitor approached an individual musician, they heard its particular tracks, and when a visitor stood in the center of the installation they heard the entire musical composition. It was a transcendent visual and spatial environment of sound.

I hope to find venues in California, home state of Nick and the producing orchestra, Wild Up, to do this installation again. Also in New York City, home of the composer, Chris Cerrone.

You can find other photos and a video of this installation in my website gallery called, On Being Alive! I hope you will check it out, tell me what you think of it, and - if anyone knows of an appropriate public venue to install this piece - please let me know. Thanks.

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