Show Yourself More Human

A News post written by on August 31, 2018

I am excited to announce my show at Hilliard Gallery this September. Show Yourself More Human features new works focusing on narratives in music. Please join me for the opening reception September 7th, 6-9pm. The show runs through October 26th.
Where: Hilliard Gallery 1820 McGee Kansas City, Missouri
Gallery Hours: Tues-Fri 10-5, Sat 12-4 or by appointment
Bob Swearengin
Show Yourself More Human Artist Statement
At a very basic level, music unfolds as sequence of sounds over a designated period of time. Music shares some of the qualities of a story in this respect – more often than not, narratives are a sequence of events over a designated period of time. Perhaps this is one reason that we can so often connect the flow of music to the course of real-life events or relationships. Many of us can imagine, or even write, a soundtrack that could play alongside our lives, capturing the essence of our experiences and somehow making them interpretable to others. Musical patterns seem to have the ability to preserve, reveal, and even create, complex realities and help us navigate the flow of our life experience. When we love music, we continually cross the boundary defining what we consider to be music and the rest of our life. Whether we are writing, creating, or listening to music, we and the events of our lives are becoming known and defined.
This series of paintings, each rigorously based on the harmonic pattern of a unique musical composition, use color, text, and other markings to provide evidence of the source of music in life experience. They weave into musical patterns the narratives, romantic dreams, fantastic landscapes, visions, encounters, and even the lack thereof, which inspire and compel music.
The title Show Yourself More Human comes from an inscription on the composer Domenico Scarlatti’s first collection of keyboard sonatas, published in 1738. The sonatas were highly regarded at the time, and they were respectfully called “original and happy freaks” that “broke through all the rules of composition.” Aware of his transgressions, Scarlatti makes a special recommendation to the performer of his work. “Therefore, show yourself then more human than critical, and thus you will increase your own pleasure.” This foreward characterizes the interactive energy of musical compositions and the moments of vulnerability and compulsion that bring music to life.

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