Art & Jazz: Arshak Sirunyan, "Twitching Eye"

[From the Art & Jazz Series]

Art & Jazz #1 features jazz pianist Arshak Sirunyan, and his album titled Journal, which was released in 2010. Scroll down and we'll listen to some of his music and guide you towards an art project related to the music. Please note: the way in which you execute the art project and the materials that you use are completely up to you. In most cases, something as basic as a pad of watercolor paper and a simple, introductory-style watercolor set with a brush or two is all that you'll need for our suggested art projects. Of course this is completely flexible: if we suggest watercolors, and you want to use crayons, or acrylic paint, or pastels, go ahead!

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Jazz pianist and composer Arshak Sirunyan and his album titled Journal

Arshak Sirunyan explains why his album is titled Journal:

"The compositions on this album were inspired by real events. They serve as reflections of significant moments from my life, during the year that saw the conception, development and the completion of this heart-felt project. The name 'Journal' derives from the idea of keeping a musical diary, to write down notes by using 'little black dots,' instead of using letters."

The 2nd song on the album Journal is titled "Twitching Eye." Arshak writes in his journal on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008, at 10:37 AM:

"My eye has been twitching for 3 days. I've tried many things to get rid of it, and nothing seems to work. I wonder if the twitch has a rhythm to it. After playing for an hour, I came up with an intro for a tune; and I think it matches the sequence and the rhythm of the twitch. Let's see if this will cure my eye."

Here's the video for "Twitching Eye." When you listen to the song, do you sense the movement, the twitching? The first twenty seconds or so seem to suggest a twitching movement, and when the drums start in around the 28 second mark, can you imagine that this sound represents the eye blinking in the midst of the twitching?

We can hear how Arshak is suggesting movement in his music, but how would one portray movement in art? If you would like to see some examples of how artists have portrayed motion in art, check out our feature "Motion in Art" here.

To learn more about Arshak Sirunyan and his music, check out his web site here.

The Art Project: using your art materials of choice, create an art work where you are depicting a twitching eye. Try to express some movement or get across visually the idea that the eye (or eyes) are twitching or causing discomfort.

The eye has been a subject depicted in art many times ... we wanted to share a few examples below that might help you get some ideas for your own twitching eye artwork:

paintings by Rene Magritte and Francesco Clemente

Above left: René Magritte, "The False Mirror," 1928. In this surrealist painting, Magritte replaces the eye color with a view of the sky. Many of Magritte's Surrealist colleagues, including Man Ray, Salvador Dali, and Max Ernst, made use of eyes as a motif in their art.

Above right: Francesco Clemente, "Ritz," 1983. In this painting, Clemente overlaps several heads and many sets of eyes dominate the painting ... but not all of the "eyes" are eyes ... do you see the "eyes" that are in fact smaller heads?

When you are done with your twitching eye artwork, if you would like to share it with us, please e-mail us a jpeg of your piece!