Painted Music

art lecture arts grant arts queensland bachelor of music cactus flying arts alliance music lover painted music piano playing queensland government saxomaphone saxophone

Painted Music is a brand new arts experience that I'm so pleased and thankful to be able to bring to you! Thanks to a Regional Arts Grant from The Flying Arts Alliance, and the Queensland Government, I am producing an ongoing series combining my piano music and paintings.
I started my classical piano training around 4 or 5 (I thought it was 5, mum said I was 4, and you should never argue with mothers you know!), I went on to complete my AMEB exams, for playing and for the theory, and started a Bachelor of Music as well. I wanted to put my toes into the world of Jazz piano rather than classical piano, but due to an oversight on my part, I enrolled in a 'creative industries' version of a Bachelor of Music. 
That Bachelor remained unfinished due to the unloving desire to strangle the creators of the course curriculum. I fail to see how allowing a student to throw a perfectly lovely electric guitar, into a perfectly lovely grand piano, because 'ART DAH-LING', is something that I should have to pay for under the guise of 'creative education'.
My other favourite was listening to a forty-five minute saxophone solo, from a trained saxophonist, in which the player neither played a note, nor demonstrated any training of knowing a saxophone. What he DID do however, was scratch, hiss, breathe, squeak, and squawk all over the poor unfortunate saxophone (what the instrument ever did to him I don't know, but instrument abuse is a sad sight to behold), for the afore-mentioned FORTY-FIVE minutes. Even if I was still taking drugs like I did in my mis-spent youth, there are not enough drugs to make that artistic or palatable, or even mildly blinking interesting for that matter.

But it was the 'plucked cactus' that really sent me over the edge, and left me abandoning my Bachelor of Music, and the piano in general, for several years after. The 'plucked cactus' was the 'brain child' of one of my lecturers. I mean my university fees paid this man's salary. He recorded himself plucking a cactus spine from the cactus plant. And that was it. His musical genius composition. Plucking a single spine from a cactus. yeah, nah. Creative Industries at that point could get bent, goodbye Bachelor of Music, you almost killed my love of piano.
After several years muttering to myself about abused saxophones and cacti, and getting an eye twitch whenever the phrase 'creative industries' popped up, I decided to once again tinkle the old ivories (my keys are not actually ivory as I do like elephants to keep their ivory on their own faces), and rediscover my love of piano, just for me. And I'm ever so glad I did.

It has meant that I can now take my art to a new level, by marrying my piano compositions, with a complimentary painting. My piano playing gets recorded for audio only, I then get recorded painting an abstract painting that is inspired by the music, and the whole video is put up on the old YouTube for the general publics consumption, viewing, and auditory pleasure. Art that you don't even need to leave the house for. Art that you don't even have to put pants on for.
What more could you want in life really.
So, sit back, pants-less if you'd like, and join me in this ongoing 'Painted Music' series that will hopefully bring you much enjoyment in the storms of life.

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  • Sharon Oldfield on

    A great read and so glad you never lost your love of music!

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