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Thread: Background music at my next show ???

  1. #1

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    Background music at my next show ???

    I have a show coming up in a very nice (public) gallery. I have the place to myself and can do as I wish with the space. Along with the obvious prints, I will also display an 8x10 copper field "camera"... a very cool sculpture my brother in-law made for me! I may even display some of my real LF cameras.

    Anyway, to create a bit more ambiance, I am seriously thinking of pumping music into the gallery. Soemthing very subtle, of course. Low key, just instrumental music of the "new age" variety or even just background "noise" of a forest, or stream etc... . I have never done that before and wondered if you guys have done this or been to shows like this.

    What do you think? An added bonus or annoying distraction?

  2. #2

    Background music at my next show ???

    For ambience, I routinely play a wonderful collection of classical piano pieces performed by photographer Charles Cramer recorded by the artist himself at a recital he did to dedicate a new piano. The pieces he selected to perform reflect his own appreciation for the natural world and in particular, water. As such, the music is perfectly suited to accompany an exhibit of nature photography. He was selling the CD through the Ansel Adams Gallery at one point. It is also wonderful music to accompany any photographic endeavor, whether it be working in a traditional or digital darkroom, matting prints or driving the countryside in search of meaningful images.

  3. #3

    Background music at my next show ???

    Steve Halpern composes music specifically for stress reduction. Some hospitals play his music and people heal faster.

  4. #4
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Background music at my next show ???

    What is your work like? It makes a differnce if it is like Joel Peter Witkin as opposed to say Caponigro.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
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  5. #5

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    Background music at my next show ???

    I've thought a few times about doing that. I'm a jazz musician and music has always played a big part in my life. I often wonder about the connection between visual art and music-- in some ways they both seem to be saying the same thing, just in different languages. There definitely is a relationship there. I always have the music cranked when I'm working in the studio (Pat Metheny is usually at the top of the playlist), but every time I have considered using music as part of an exhibition, I've always decided against it. It seems like it would be a distraction, or maybe a little cheesy or something like that. I think it would be a way of trying to add more depth and meaning to the images, and when I think hard about that, I'd rather let them stand on their own.

    ~cj (Seattle)

  6. #6
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    Background music at my next show ???

    What Chris said.

    The music that works for you might work against a customer. Some will like it, some will not.

    I've left galleries that were playing music I thought obnoxious. I tend to linger at galleries that encourage me to look at and form my own opinions about the art without any "help" on the part of the gallery. I've bought a "few" pieces over the years, and I can't remember the last time I bought anything at a gallery that was obtrusively trying to set my mood.

    Of course, YMMV. If you gotta do music, then you gotta do music.

    Bruce Watson

  7. #7
    4x5 Camera Toting Tourist Nitish Kanabar's Avatar
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    Background music at my next show ???

    Daniel,

    Try Kitaro for "new-age". I find some of his work to be subtle and sublime, while some of it is grand and inspiring. He has a huge body of work and you may want to cherry-pick the ones you find to be right for your exhibition.

    Another suggestion is Native American flute music by R. Carlos Nakai - very soothing and *quiet* or non-distracting.

    I'd suggest not piping in *natural* sounds like wind/ocean/stream/etc. IMHO, they feel artificial and a bit irritating.

    Good luck with your exhibition.
    Nitish Kanabar

  8. #8

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    Background music at my next show ???

    " What is your work like? It makes a differnce if it is like Joel Peter Witkin as opposed to say Caponigro"

    Kirk. Mine would be more Caponigro-like, if I have to label it. My prints will be 8x10 and 7x10 b&w contacts. Mainly natural landscape, with some urban and a few portraits as well.

    Rather "mellow", in fact. That`s why I was thinking some "new age-y kind of music. I just may try it when I set up the show prior to opening and get some opinions....

    Anyway, thanks for the suggestions, folks, and I`ll report back whith the results.

    Daniel

    PS What the heck would you play at a Witkin show anyway. Nine Inch Nails?

  9. #9
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Background music at my next show ???

    "PS What the heck would you play at a Witkin show anyway. Nine Inch Nails?"

    Training tapes for Primal Scream Therapy.

    At my recent show, I actually had a live performer, a native flute player from North Carolina who is a disiple of Carlos Nakai. I heard it was perfect. I unfortunately spent the entire show at the museum gift shop signing books and never heard a note.

    There is a Carlos Nakai alblum which might be perfect. It is my favourite. It is called "Island of the Bows". It is from a concert in Japan and is not so obviously Native American in flavor.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
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  10. #10

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    Background music at my next show ???

    I recently heard a serie of piano works by George Winston (Autumn, December, Plains, Summer, Winter into Spring)... Try it if you like solo piano... in another style I like Philip Glass (Solo Piano, Metamorphosis)...

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