All I Wish to Own


The Music Behind All I Wish to Own


All I Wish to Own is a series of eight drawings based on the progression of musical harmonies in Johannes Brahms’ Intermezzo in A Major Opus 118 No. 2.
The entire Intermezzo is depicted, continuously, from beginning to end, with each drawing representing a natural division in the music such as a main melodic theme or development.
If you start with the first drawing and follow each section of each line of color, one after the other, you will “hear” every measure of the Intermezzo in succession from start to finish. This whole experience, if you listen to Julius Katchen’s recording, will take 6 minutes and 4 seconds.

Intermezzo in A Major played by Julius Katchen



Titles and Text


Each section of the Intermezzo is placed in a different setting. The titles and subject matter of the drawings are actually taken from another musical work, Bob Dylan’s song Boots of Spanish Leather. Though these two works span and connect over 70 years and two continents, both are intimate and deeply introspective. The markings and text on these drawings trace the melodic contours and pitches of the Intermezzo and relate them to the ascent, descent, plateau, cascade, and undulation of the raw human emotional experience of longing, possession and loss.


Boots of Spanish Leather by Bob Dylan



The lyrics of Boots of Spanish Leather


Oh, I’m sailin’ away, my own true love
I’m sailin’ away in the morning
Is there something I can send you from across the sea
From the place that I’ll be landing?

No, there’s nothin’ you can send me, my own true love
There’s nothin’ I’m wishin’ to be ownin’
Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled
From across that lonesome ocean

Oh, but I just thought you might want something fine
Made of silver or of golden
Either from the mountains of Madrid
Or from the coast of Barcelona

But if I had the stars of the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean
I’d forsake them all for your sweet kiss
For that’s all I’m wishin’ to be ownin’

But I might be gone a long old time
And it’s only that I’m askin’
Is there something I can send you to remember me by?
To make your time more easy-passin’

Oh, how can, how can you ask me again?
It only brings me sorrow
The same thing I would want today
I would want again tomorrow

Oh, I got a letter on a lonesome day
It was from her ship a-sailin’
Saying I don’t know when I’ll be comin’ back again
It depends on how I’m a-feelin’

If you, my love, must think that-a-way
I’m sure your mind is roamin’
I’m sure your thoughts are not with me
But with the country to where you’re goin’

So take heed, take heed of the western winds
Take heed of the stormy weather
And yes, there’s something you can send back to me
Spanish boots of Spanish leather
Spanish boots of Spanish leather