Art & Jazz: Charlie Haden, "Silence"

[From the Art & Jazz Series]


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"Silence" is a song composed and performed by American jazz bassist Charlie Haden, and was originally recorded in 1987. The song also features Chet Baker on trumpet, Enrico Pieranunzi on piano, and Billy Higgins on drums.

How does one make music about "silence," when the two ideas are opposites? When you listen to the video below, does the style of the music suggest silence to you? When you listen to the music, what kind of mood do you feel?

Notice the images that are used in this video ... clearly, they are trying to select images that evoke their idea of silence, but are they successful? Do these images make you think of anything other than silence? How about isolation? Relaxation? Sadness? Anything else?

Scroll down below the video for our description of the art project to accompany this music ...



The Art Project: using your art materials of choice, create an art work where you are depicting "silence." Rather than create an image similar to those in the video, why not make it more of a challenge by showing silence via abstraction? How would you do that? Some ideas might include limiting your mark-making, choosing a particular color scheme ... do you think you can show silence with bright colors, or would they have to be dark?

If you get stuck trying to think of a way to visualize silence, we have a page here with some paintings that we think could be interpreted as showing silence. But try not to peek before using your imagination to create your image of silence! Try to wait until after you've completed your art project, so then you can look and compare your ideas with our ideas.

Return to the main Art & Jazz series page.