The Par­ti­cles Of Mu­sic

New con­cert se­ries be­gins at Fenix Fayet­teville

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - JO­CE­LYN MUR­PHY

Art, mu­sic and sci­ence con­verge at Fenix Fayet­teville to­day in the first show of the gallery’s new mu­sic se­ries Sonic Im­ages. Ac­claimed gui­tar player Jake Hert­zog will per­form his rich sound­scape ti­tled “Well Lit Shadow” — a mu­si­cal ex­plo­ration of par­ti­cle col­li­sions and the im­ages pro­duced by our mea­sure­ments of them.

“I tend to al­ways be hear­ing mu­sic in my head about what­ever is go­ing on dur­ing the day or what­ever I’m look­ing at,” Hert­zog says with a chuckle. “But with this par­tic­u­lar project, I was think­ing, ‘If th­ese par­ti­cles clash­ing to­gether could make a sound, what would that sound be?’ So I was just mess­ing around on the gui­tar, mak­ing weird noises by my­self, and I [re­al­ized] this should be solo gui­tar mu­sic be­cause the whole ex­pe­ri­ence feels lonely to me. Ev­ery­thing about deal­ing with tiny lit­tle par­ti­cles seems to me very, very in­ti­mate. Th­ese are the small­est things that we are aware of that ex­ist, so I wanted to make this my small­est [mu­si­cal] unit, which is one gui­tar play­ing.”

“His stuff is so vis­ual in this con­cert — to have the vi­su­als and a video of par­ti­cle col­li­sions, it’s just amaz­ing,” says se­ries pre­sen­ter Jean­nine Parham of Hert­zog’s mul­ti­me­dia per­for­mance. “To have mu­sic that’s in­spired by that is a very kind of heady thing to have in an art gallery. So it’s a mu­si­cal con­cert was a strong vis­ual com­po­nent. And that’s what I’m re­ally ex­cited about, be­cause his con­cert em­braces sci­ence, art and mu­sic — and dance if you con­sider the par­ti­cle col­li­sions move­ment. The idea [for the se­ries] is to get artists from var­i­ous dis­ci­plines hang­ing out to­gether and bring­ing their au­di­ences to each other’s au­di­ences. So it’s this cross-pol­li­na­tion.”

The name for the se­ries — Sonic Im­ages — was born of Parham’s ideas on the vi­bra­tional qual­i­ties of mu­sic.

“We can hear the vi­bra­tions in mu­sic, and you can see them in art. But it’s the same sci­ence be­hind it,” she ex­plains. And with that in­spi­ra­tion, there is, per­haps, no more fit­ting mu­si­cian to open the se­ries than Hert­zog.

“Th­ese kind of projects are re­ally fun, and they’re ar­tis­ti­cally sat­is­fy­ing, but they de­mand a cer­tain kind of pre­sen­ta­tion to bring the au­di­ence into the fold,” Hert­zog shares. “Pair­ing some­thing this ab­stract with vi­su­als to me was al­ways the goal be­cause the orig­i­nal in­spi­ra­tion for this mu­sic was very vis­ual, and I wanted the au­di­ence to ex­pe­ri­ence what I ex­pe­ri­enced when I look at those and think about it.”

Cour­tesy photo

Crit­i­cally ac­claimed gui­tarist, com­poser and ed­u­ca­tor Jake Hert­zog will per­form his con­cept project, “Well Lit Shadow,” tonight at Fenix Fayet­teville to open the new mu­sic se­ries Sonic Im­ages. This per­for­mance will be the first time Hert­zog has per­formed the work in its en­tirety.

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