Remembering a night at The MET

by Caitlin Sullivan

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 at 7:00pm
Musical Portraits in Vélez Blanco Patio at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Decoda's program was in conjunction with the exhibition Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends, which was on view June 30th - October 4th, 2015. Read more about the program here.

Portraits in Paint and Sound

Portraits in Paint and Sound

Who grows up in a household where there is a kiln AND a darkroom in the basement? Well, that would be me…and although I grew up to become a musician, my artist parents had an undeniable influence on my musical life. Those countless childhood visits to galleries and museums really stick with you in unexpected ways!
In my second curated concert for Decoda at the MET Museum, I was inspired by the MET’s special exhibit of the portrait painter John Singer Sargent. These were portraits he created of his close friends – artist friends. It was fun for me to reflect on childhood memories of my parents’ fascinating and brilliant friends, and I immediately wanted to translate this concept to music – what kinds of musical portraits have been composed to portray those in a composer’s inner circle?
My Decoda friends and colleagues constantly inspire my thinking about music; one example of that is creative programming, and how it can (and should) result in a truly engaging, illuminating, and unexpectedly eclectic journey. Inspiration, whether from parents or colleagues, is the fuel of art. It’s fascinating how art begets art, to create new art…
A nice announcement for this concert was featured in the New Yorker:

"As a pendant to its dazzling exhibition devoted to the portraiture of John Singer Sargent, the musicians of Decoda, for whom versatility is a watchword, put together a unique program of incisive musical portraits by such composers as Britten, Ravel, Schubert, Ned Rorem, Aaron Jay Kernis ('Mozart en Route'), David Lang, and Charles Mingus ('Self-Portrait in Three Colors').."

-The New Yorker