From KCRW DJ Tom Schnabel:

Goethe once observed that “architecture is frozen music”.

When I told people a few years ago that I taught at SCIARC (Southern California Institute Of Architecture), people would inevitably ask “what’s music got to do with architecture?” To me the differences in the two disciplines were never that great.

Here are two great artists making the connection:

Claude Debussy, French composer (1862-1918), said this after being blown away by the 1889 Universal Exhibition, where he heard Balinese gamelan and other exotic music:

“Music is a free art, gushing forth—an open-air art, an art boundless as the elements, the wind, the sky, the sea!  I love music passionately, and because I love it I try to free it from the barren traditions that stifle it.  The sound of the sea, the curve of the horizon, the wind in the leaves, the cry of a bird enregister complex impressions…”

Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect (1907-)

“I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves.

The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of a beloved woman.” (See a slideshow of his work here)

Artists so often are inspired by the organic, by humanity and nature.  One thinks of Picasso being smitten by the rawness and purity of the African masks at the Musée d’Ethnographie du Trocadéro in 1907.  This was just a couple of months before he painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, one of his most famous early works and one that shattered the tenets of 19th century romanticism in art.

And of course we have Frank Gehry celebrating the sensual, sweeping arc and curve in his glorious designs.

Toru Takemitsu had a similar notion of how nature and music meet, and he listed Debussy as his strongest influence. We are fortunate to have artists like Frank Gehry and Ryuichi Sakamoto carrying the torch forward.

Tom Schnabel

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Pingback: Great Title For Architecture Essay For IB Extended Architectural Designs » Architecture, College, Education>, Universityl, Essay, Articles » Home Design Journals

  • http://feeds.feedburner.com/EquipmentFinancing Terry Hoste

    It’s hard to find well-informed people on this subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • http://www.fiql.com/members/addison31 Lane Gadue

    Everyone loves it when individuals come together and share views. Great website, stick with it!

  • http://raovat.xmen360.com/member.php?150738-6carbony Anton

    Howdy! I’m about to begin my own blog and was wondering if you know where the best place to buy a website url is? I’m not even sure if that’s what its known as? (I’m new to this) I’m referring to “http://blogs.kcrw.com/musicnews/2011/01/music-and-architecture/“. How do I go about obtaining one of these for the website I’m creating? Thanks a lot

  • http://wellgoodgames.com cool games

    You have an incredibly nice layout for the blog, i want it to make use of on my website too .

  • http://www.sakudelo.comstory.php?title=photo-special-effects photo special effects

    All you need to have to know about News info to you.

  • http://community.babycenter.com/journal/bengalparent0/9127690/suggestions_and_important_information_about_the_best_way_to_discover_the_best_and_newest_carpets_online carpets online

    Hi, I just found your web site via yahoo. Your article is truly pertinent to my life currently, and I’m really happy I found your website.

  • https://www.facebook.com/Bionicfamily Bionic Band

    I was just chatting with my coworker about this final week in the resturant. Do not know how on the planet we landed on the topic truly, they

  • http://survivingtheendoftheworld| surviving the end of the world

    Pardon me if this is off-topic, but additional people need to really focus on what just occurred in Oslo. Just try to remember it could happen in our nation too.

  • http://www.divephotoguide.com/user/hilariopatel3/ Min Plate

    Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!