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Some people argue that great art is inspired by simplicity. Did you know that Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony might have been inspired by three notes of a local bird’s song? Well, David Matysiak is following suit by taking the kid’s game of telephone and creating a series of musical anthologies in his Telephono project.
Telephono is a fun, collaborative, creative mash-up concept: Matysiak writes an initial piece of music and sends it to a fellow musician, who then has the freedom to change “anything or everything” about the original version. The second musician sends it to a third, and the chain continues. At each stage, artists send their product back to Matysiak.
Because the process is archived at each step, a listener of the entire process can hear the specific changes that each musician makes. What’s especially awesome about this project is that it travels across state lines, country borders and international oceans, showing that place can contribute to the artistic process.
Place is literally infused in some pieces of Telephono. For example, Italian musician Enrico Molteni
took a pop song sent to him from
Sense of place is usually more subtle though. Not only are places a part of us and our
personalities, they often take on personalities of their own. We associate
different symbols, stereotypes and sounds with certain places. Think about how movies introduce you to
cities. The type of music directors
choose has a specific feel depending
on the setting; they normally don’t play bluegrass to an establishing shot of
Going through the Telephono
music list, you can occasionally hear how place trickles through the
musicians’ songs. You can almost see the rain on a dreary English street in
Bethany for My Wonderful World
Image courtesy David Matysiak