Wednesday 16 March 2016

YPGTTO: Kingdoms Of Sound Speed Paint Challenge #8 The String City / The Cello District

Speed Paint Challenge #8
The String City / The Cello District

Cello: The cello is a lot bigger than the violin and the strings are a lot longer. As a result the sound it makes is much deeper and richer. Like the violin and viola, the cello began life in the 16th century. Since then many composers have written large-scale solo pieces for the cello, making the most of this wonderfully warm sound.

The cello possesses a wide variety of differing tone colors and means of expression, ranging from the calm and solemn in the lower register to bursts of passion in the uppermost register. Its underlying character has often been compared with the male voice. The transition between registers is smooth, although it cannot be denied that the individual strings have their own character, as they do on the violin and viola too.

Basically, the cello is something of a split personality; one the hand it plays the part of the solid, reliable bass instrument; on the other hand it aspires to the passion of a heroic tenor.

Sound characteristics of the individual strings

C string 
This string sounds weighty, dark, powerful. Its darkly powerful sound makes it highly suitable for performing a sonorous fundamental bass.

G string 
This string lacks the power and sustaining quality of the bottom string and is used to carry the bass voice. Suited to softer tonal effects. Resonant pizzicato on the C and G strings.

D string 
The D string is often described as the most musical and soulful and without doubt has the most pleasing sound. Used to play soft, silky, intimate, warm and lyrical cantilenas. Its weighty clarity is virtually unsurpassed.

A string 
This string has a bright, penetrating, shrill, incisive and dominant sound.

Mellow, warm, sonorous, full, clear, brilliant, vibrant, singing, bright, lustrous, stately, lyrical, cantabile, thick, weighty, powerful, silky, lively, incisive, eloquent, transcendental, supernatural, sensuous, calm, round, pure, muffled, dark, open, sustaining, solemn, wafting, gentle, sweet, veiled.

You can listen to the extract (below) as many times as you like. We don't want literal images of the instruments associated with the extracts, but we do want your concept paintings to associate with the shapes, forms, structures, mechanisms, colours, materials and special characteristics of the specific instrument - and the moods evoked by the music extract itself.  

We do want to get a sense of spaces and places - of being 'within' these various districts of our Kingdom Of Sound.

Think of the relationship between the instrument and the extract in the following way: the structure, shapes, mechanisms and movement of the instrument gives you your vocabulary of architectural components, and the music extract gives you the art direction (i.e. the mood, colour palette, composition etc.)

In regards to setting up your speed paints in Photoshop - a few basic rules: can you ensure you're working at the following settings: 2560 pixels x 1440 pixels / 300dpi.

Feel free to go even more panoramic if your vision demands it and feel free to flip between landscape and portrait as your imagination requires. Once you've completed your digital painting(s), can you upload it to your blog entitled YPGTTO Speed Paint Challenge, and include the number and title of the challenge too:  YPGTTO Speed Paint Challenge 8 : The Cello District

Please can you keep all your original Speed Paint files safe and sound in a folder, as I'll be collecting them in as an archive of the project at the end of the challenge.

Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra, Op. 34 - Cellos / Benjamin Britten

Need more inspiration? Visit the original YPGTTO brief here.

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