December 5 - January 18, 2020
Aaron Bielish is an intermedia artist and musician, working in photography, drawing, digital media, ceramics, and sound. His EYEmusic series is an exploration of the shared territory between visual art and music. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Bielish studied visual art, music performance and electronic composition at the University of Calgary where he received a Bachelor of Music Performance; Aaron was then accepted into the Master of Music program at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. After graduation from Rice, he won a position in the Chicago Civic Orchestra, training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony. It was in Chicago that he drew his first EYEmusic score. This drawing led him to re-examine basic assumptions in classical music and to pursue his masters in intermedia at the innovative Interdisciplinary Practice and Emerging Forms (IPEF) lab with John Reed and Abinadi Meza at the University of Houston.
In EYEmusic, the drawings start out as a story, either personal to Bielish, or as a commissioned piece using another individual’s life event as the initial source of inspiration. In the process of listening to an individual’s telling of their story, aspects where the artist’s life experiences intersect with the individual’s become woven into the narrative. This interwoven narrative, the experience of life’s intersections, affects and changes the artist’s life, creating a certain sympathetic and empathetic energy that imbues the drawing and becomes the graphic score. The story is transfigured into a visual retelling, through mark making, thus creating a unique EYEmusic score, which now also exists as visual art.
When viewed as a score by musicians, the story informs and shapes the musicians’ interpretations of the marks. Each graphic score has an accompanying story. In contrast to traditional program music, the stories of EYEmusic scores are hidden. They are given to the musicians only. The stories act as a lens, focusing the performer’s interpretation of the visual art. The audience sees the visual art and listens to the music. The audience is free to make connections based on their experience of the two.
For EYEmusic: The Raconteur, Transfigured, Octavia will present nine scores with performances, seven of which will be world premieres. A total of twenty-two visual works on exhibition will be read by the musicians. Audiences may enjoy participating by writing down and sharing their own interpretations based on what they see in the art and hear in the music. Following each performance, the artist will review the submissions and share the selection that is most similar to the hidden meaning of the evening’s featured work.
Aaron lives in Houston, Texas with his wife Kathy and their two children Andrew and Laura. He is an adjunct instructor in the art and music departments at Lonestar College Kingwood and co-creator of the X-Wave Experimental Festival. EYEmusic is in private collections in Berlin, New York, and Houston. Recently, his EYEmusic works have been featured in performances and exhibitions the United States, Canada, and Germany.
Performance: January 17, 2020 | 6–8 pm
Danny Kamins, sax, Thomas Helton, bass, Robert Boston, piano and Joe Hertenstein, percussion, EYEmusic XII
3637 West Alabama, Suite 120
Houston, 77027 Texas