. . . I had to find a way to engage with an artistic output
that was well known for being incredibly diverse. . . .
What began with vague ideas while standing in front of paintings
by Richter has grown into one of the most demanding
and complex projects I've ever worked on. . . .
~ Jim Aitchison
In late February, British composer Jim Aitchison, who says he has "made interactions with visual artworks a central part of [his] work for more than a decade", presented at four venues simultaneously his Portraits for a Study, a musical composition for four pianos, one pianist, and a string quartet that responds to the work of painter Gerhard Richter. The venues were Falmouth University, Royal Academy of Music, Goldsmith's College, and Yamaha London.
Read Aitchison's "Richter Scales: My Musical Response to the Paintings of a Great", which was published in The Guardian on February 19, 2014, for background. Below is a short video introducing Aitchison's project.
Be sure to spend some time at Jim Aitchison's Visible Music Website, where you can listen to and learn more about his fascinating explorations of music after painting and music after sculpture. Among his other musical compositions are his responses to Mark Rothko's Seagram murals (see and listen to Shadows of Light at the Tate; Tate Modern's Rothko Exhibition, 2008-2009) and Sir Terry Frost's abstractions.
Jim Aitchison on SoundCloud