This evening, the Orchestre Nationale de Lille, France will embark on a two-week tour performing the music of contemporary electronic composer Wax Tailor. Dusty Rainbow From The Dark is a multi-sensory experience incorporating text and narration, video projection, beats and electronic elements, vocalists and rappers. It begins as an instrumental collage built entirely out of micro-sized samples taken from vinyl records of the 1960s, then re-composed into new music and coloured with orchestration and vocal melodies. All of this comes from the imagination of Wax Tailor’s singular member, Jean-Christophe le Saoût. Before enlisting the help of musicians from all over Europe and North America, Le Saoût worked alone in his studio in Vernon, France, just 5 kilometres from Claude Monet’s studio garden at Giverny.
As artists, we all sit somewhere on the Lone Wolf / Collaborator spectrum. Statistically, painters tend toward solitude if they can get away with it, thriving on the blessings of singular focus and private vision. Musicians and other performing artists share, interact and blend their talents, ideas and skills. They attest to the intoxicating magic that comes from creating with others. Perhaps the best testament to the power of collective energy comes from the audience and exultant fans. Everyone benefits from artists sliding around on the scale. It’s fun, too.
After noticing the village of Giverny from a train window, Claude Monet moved there in 1883, and by 1887 he and other painters, including American Impressionists Willard Metcalf, Louis Ritter and John Leslie Breck, formed what became known as The Giverny Artists’ Colony. The colony went on to achieve the ultimate “collab”: a marriage between American impressionist Theodore Earl Butler and Monet’s stepdaughter and model, Suzanne Hoschedé. Hungry for further independence and worldwide recognition, a second wave of Giverny painters exhibited together at New York’s Madison Gallery in 1910 as The Giverny Group.
Butler eventually returned to New York and formed The Society of Independent Artists in 1916 — an oxymoron — gathering a bunch of independents into an enriching collective. Wolves, working as a pack, make an effective party.
PS: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” (John Muir)
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” (Isaac Newton)
“It’s the hardest thing to be alone in being satisfied with what one’s done.” (Claude Monet)
“Independence is good for awhile. As a movement we were more readily noticed and believed in. And for a while there, we enjoyed each other’s company.” (Canadian Group of Seven founder, Lawren Harris, as said privately to Robert Genn in 1961)
Esoterica: Independent artist Wax Tailor and his Phonovisions Symphonic Orchestra — over 40 musicians and 17 vocalists — gather this evening at the Théâtre Sébastpol in Lille, France for the telling of Dusty Rainbow From The Dark. This is the story of a little boy who discovers, by listening to music alone in his bedroom, the power of his imagination. Dusty will then travel Nantes, Montpellier, Paris, Lyon and Brussels, where fans can gather together to experience the time-honoured, and time-sensitive miracle of an artistic performance. Dusty Rainbow From The Dark can also be listened to alone, in your room, while painting.
Featured workshop: Helen Walter and Keith Thirgood
Francisco with butterflies
oil on canvas, 160 x 160 cm
You may be interested to know that artists from every state in the USA, every province in Canada, and at least 115 countries worldwide have visited these pages since January 1, 2013.