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Thursday, 28 February 2013

I Walk in the Forest that was once Seattle - Challenge of Music Reveal!

***Warning***  Very long post - feel free to cut through the waffle :)

Hello and welcome to my reveal for the wonderful Miss Erin of Treasures Found's Challenge of Music, I'm very glad to have you here!



Miss Erin hosts a wonderful selection of challenges, each with a wonderful twist.  I was lucky enough to jump on the jewellery blogging train just in time to join in her Challenge of Colo(u)r blog hop.  It was truly inspiring and such good fun so I jumped straight on the bandwagon as soon as soon as sign-ups opened for the music challenge.  When Erin announced that the extra spice in this challenge would be to draw inspiration from instrumental music, I was laughing!  A lot of the music I listen to is instrumental - from beauteous Classical to dance-driving Psybreaks (I have very wide tastes).  But  the instrumental music I listen to the most is Heavy Metal.

That's right, I'm a Metalhead.  A Metalhead in flowery silks, haha :)

Now I'm not into screamy screechy 'Hail Satan' metal.  To be honest that stuff drives me up the wall.  But progressive metal and post-metal? Right up my street!  Often gently melodic and strewn with powerfully emotive passages, this strain of metal doesn't make my ears want to bleed.  Lyrics, when there are any, cover philosophical, introspective or sociological topics, expanding on human nature and the ways of the world.

When reading the outline of the challenge, I knew instantly the song I was going to create around.  It is called 'Seattle' and is from the album Fade by Cloudkicker.  I am currently obsessed with it and can listen it it on repeat for hours quite happily(I'm a bit strange).

Cloudkicker is the one-man-band project of a chap called Ben Sharp from Columbus, Ohio.  He plays every instrument himself, then sequences and mixes it all too!  A very talented dude.  His earlier stuff was a lot heavier, but Fade, which is his latest album, strikes the chord between heavy and melodic just right for me, though I  know that for a lot of you this song will sound mostly like horrid horrid noise!  

Enough waffle now, here is the song.  I don't expect you to listen to the whole 10 minutes, but about 5 will be enough to get what I am on about.



Now, I have Chromesthesia.  If you have read Erin's post on synesthesia you will know that this means that my brain 'interprets' sound as colours and shapes - I can quite literally 'see sound'.  Which is very odd when I think about it, but as I have always perceived things this way to me it is quite normal!  I can remember being quite shocked as a wee child to find out not everyone has this visual accompaniment to sound.  I sometimes feel sorry for non-synesthetes, when I close my eyes and listen to good music, it is like having my own internal visualizer   A downside?  There are times, when I listen to (usually new) powerful music, or I get caught in a great cacophony, I can feel almost blinded and paralysed!   The first time I heard 'Seattle' I felt like I was going to have a fit.  A wonderful, ecstatic, hallucinogenic fit.  It felt like God had reached down and was massaging my brain with fingers the colour of a stormy sky.

Fingers the colour of a stormy sky?  Well, that first deep, driving riff in this song is a deep blue-grey to me, laced with rich brown and the gleaming colour of hematite.  The sound is linear but organic, the shape of it is like walking down a tree lined avenue, the trunks of trees like pillars leaning over you to shade you with their leaves.  And yet the sound is somewhat industrial as well, as though those trees were once the lampposts and skyscrapers of a city, turned to a forest by enchantment.  Huge and ominous yet warm and round and embracing.  Based on this shape I made a 'sketch in wire' using dino-bone links (probably old-hat to most of you, but a new one for me), which I felt mirrored the shape of the sound quite well:

This isn't a real piece of jewellery, it's just a sketch that likes rather like a piece of jewellery.  But you can wear it as if it really were a piece of jewellery, and it makes  a wonderful chiming sound when you do :)
Unfortunately the idea I had that this sketch was based on would never come to be.  I had some beautiful blue tigers eye beads that were the PERFECT colour.  But they were to big for my idea, and my attempts to find smaller blue tiger eye beads to use were met with massive failure.  I took this as a message and decided to work with what I had, and instead made this bracelet:



You can't really see the deep blue of the tiger eye which is a shame (I am rubbish at photography).  The lovely oak leaf clasp is by Natalie McKenna of Grubbi, once I saw it I *had* to have it!  It was just the right colour to go with the tigers eye and i have been planning to use them together somehow for a while, this was the perfect chance!  I made a coiled toggle bar to match the coiled bead cages, which are my stand in for the industrial but organic shape I was after.  Mixed in are some smashing czech picasso flowers and drops in blue, brown and grey.  And nestled in the flowers are little orange Swarovski crystals - betwixt the great grey blue shapes of the song are little bursts of bright orange, like gaudy flowers hanging from the branches of the forest that was once Seattle :)

Now, I love this bracelet, but for me it doesn't encapsulate *all* of the song.  And for that reason you get an extra bonus bracelet from me!  At just before the four minute mark the song transitions into a softer passage, that for me is a vibrant mix of purple and turquoise.  The shapes are smaller, and rounder yet sharper (I'm really can't think of a less oxymoronic way to describe it - it's difficult to describe things that only exist in your head!)  The little 'flowers' or bright colour are denser and now include yellow and deep pink:

I really must sort that sticky-out end at the front, ergh!
Czech glass and turquoise rondelles with copper spacers make up the likes, with copper daisy caps, swarovskis and little shiny seed beads.  I made a little clasp wrapped with sead beads an a tiny czech firepolish bead to finish it off, shame you can't really see it in the picture!

And that is all from me today.  I hope you didn't fall asleep during all that rambling!  Thank you very much for coming and I hope to see you again soon.  Please have a spiffing time goggling at all the other participants stunning creations :)

31 comments:

  1. OMG, as much as I love your jewellery designs, Jess, I must confess I am even more taken with your rich and descriptive passages as you shared the experience of your chromesthesia. With multimedia posts such as these, I always start the music first and then begin to read and write, which enhances the enjoyment of both for me. I suppose if I were blessed as you are, that might be overwhelming for me. I was listening to musical passages as you described them, notably at 4 minute mark where the very fluid (to my ears) section began which you have illustrated with such poetry in both vision and word. I read in an earlier post that you felt your Muse had abandoned you for a time. She has obviously repented and come home to roost, indeed. Congrats and keep on creating, Jess!

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    1. Hi Monique, thanks so much for your blush-making comment, and also for becoming a follower, I now have a grand total of two, woohoo!

      I'm really glad you enjoyed my description of the sensations I have converted into the jewellery, I was worried it was just burbling! I sometimes wish I could give people synesthesia just for a day so they could experience it.

      And yes, thank goodness my Muse is back :)

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  2. SO happy to have found your blog through this music hop - your work is gorgeous!! I agree with everything Monique said - and she said it so well! - and had a wonderful time reading your post. I love how you express yourself, both written and bead-wise. I would love to see your shop, if you have one, too! :D Thanks so much for sharing with us; it didn't seem like burbling to me at allllllll!!!!

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    1. Thanks so much :#) I'm really glad you like my designs and enjoyed the post!

      I don't have a shop yet - part of the reasoning behind startingthis blog was to gather some courage to try opening a shop. I am INCREDIBLY nervous about trying to sell my work! I need to build up some inventory first too :)

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  3. Your last bracelet looks so feminine to me, it's hard to believe it is spawn of Metal!! Great job on all 3 pcs!

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    1. Thanks Cynthia, I confuse a lot of people when I tell them I'm a metalhead. I tend to be dressed in flowery silks and look very much like a girly hippy :)

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  4. After a lot of old or old-sounding music, this -- how refreshing with change! My taste in music is also wide so I enjoyed this change of pace and style.

    Lovely jewellery! I really liked the copper necklace, both the colours and the shapes. With the beautiful bracelets I can see the music and the different passages in the song. Had I not listened to the song it would've seemed strange to hear that all these pieces were inspired by the same thing, but hearing the music it feels spot on in many ways.

    Your post didn't feel long at all (what until you get to my ramblings and compare! Yikes!) and it was interesting to read about how you perceived the music while I was listening to it and seeing your result.

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    1. Thank you :) I'm glad you liked my little 'sketch' necklace, I will definitely look into developing the idea further - I am quite tempted to hunt down the beads I failed to find this time and complete my original design.

      Really glad you liked the song too!

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  5. I admit - your kind of music, isn't really my kind of music - but YOWZA! Your jewelry is absolutely stunning, creative and unique! I love it!

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    1. Haha, yes it's not the kind of music that appeals to everyone, but hey, at least something a little more enjoyable for you came out of it!

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  6. Interesting song, I could listen to it and bead...while I didn't see colors, I saw swirls and shards of glass, cold, so I think your first necklace is perfect. Would love to have one like it. And I know what you mean about finding that perfect bead. I had some issues also, not only with this challenge but one that is coming up. I may just try my hand and make some....anyway, love the jewelry. I think they came out perfect!

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    1. Thanks Vera :) I love listening to music whilst I fiddle about with beads. It's interesting to hear what other peoples impressions of the music are. Music often sounds completely different from what it 'looks' like to me, and sound-wise icy and swirly are definitely adjectives on the list.

      As for chasing down those perfect beads - in this case I found myself on the verge of getting stressed and that is most certainly NOT what this challenge is about so I decided to just leave that for another day!

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  7. If that is your sketch than I am doing it all wrong. I love the first piece (your sketch). I can see it oxidized and perfectly suited to an african dance that makes it move, shake, stir, and rumble like a lion roaring. Oh my god - I'd wear that piece anywhere. I know what you mean about finding the perfect bead since that is why I took up lampworking in the first place. I couldn't find the right beads to finish a piece that was for a college grade. The last bracelet where you saw the lightness of the colors in the music is another one that is beautiful. If you'd ever like to collaberate on a piece I'd be delighted to provide you with some beads to ruminate on - just let me know.

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    1. Hi Sharon, now how could I refuse an offer like that? I would love to work with some of your beads, they are fab! I'm interested in lampworking myself, but I just don't have the space right now.

      In return I will happily make you an 'African Dance' necklace of your own :)(thanks for the naming idea by the way, it's perfect!)

      I do actually plan to oxidize this piece. I ordered some LOS gel, as I have never used it before, but unfortunately it didn't arrive in time for the reveal.

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  8. Hi Jess! Wow!
    "The sound is linear but organic, the shape of it is like walking down a tree lined avenue, the trunks of trees like pillars leaning over you to shade you with their leaves. And yet the sound is somewhat industrial as well, as though those trees were once the lampposts and skyscrapers of a city, turned to a forest by enchantment. Huge and ominous yet warm and round and embracing. "

    I have never read a more poetic, and descriptive piece in a blog hop. You made me see it! Thank you! YOur pieces are stunning - thank you for sharing your sounds, your visions and your creations!
    Rock on!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! I like to write almost as much as I like to make jewellery :) I'm so glad you have enjoyed reading what I have to say about my creative process I'll be sure to share it more in the future.

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  9. Jaw Dropping Gorgeous!!!!!!!!!

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  10. Your sketch is truly fantastic and I agree with Sharon; we are doing something wrong :) I loved your post and how you see music and how you took your jewelry and interpreted it for us. Stunning work!

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    1. Looking at your work I some how doubt you are doing anything wrong at all, its all amazing ;)

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  11. I am not a metal-head, but I really appreciate your description of the piece and how you visualized it -- tree-lined street -- no -- lamp-lined street, no, metal poles. I see the beat being transformed and it progresses. I love the necklace and it is so different from the bracelets! Wow!

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  12. WOW - just amazing! I'm a bit of a metal head as well (OK, maybe more grunge than metal), and this song is a great one to design around. I can't even fathom what it must be like to actually 'see' music, but your descriptions of what you see in your head fascinate me. I imagine that you really can get a bit overwhelmed by a lot of ambient sounds all at once, and a complicated symphony? Forget about it! Your designs are simply stunning. I'm a wireworker at heart, and your wire work is gorgeous. Fabulous job on the hop!

    :) Molly

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  13. Wow! What absolutely gorgeous wirework! All your pieces are beautiful. I enjoyed reading about your experience with what you see when you listen to music. Fascinating!

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  14. Ok, it seems you have an unfair advantage but you've really put it to work! Man-o-man I love that first piece, I can just imagine it as you described so beautifully. I've only come across music even slightly similar once when Joseph Arthur was the opening act at a concert. He was such a joy to watch as a one mand band looping and growing sound.

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  15. Wow! I love all three pieces, each one distincly unique, but obviously inspired by your music. I really like your "sketch" which has a bohemian metal feel. Your last piece especially. Upon first look it's strong and powerful, but after looking closely one can start to see all of the delicate elements that create this beautiful piece.

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  16. Well WOW! All three of your creations are terrific! I started listening to the music then the Adobe Flash player crashed :( So will have to try again later but the part I did hear, you got Right ON! There's the variety of strong & delicate to each piece. Love the leaf clasp & the wire work! I'm really into copper, so these were right up my alley. Also found the dangles in the necklace, Fun! I can imagine the dangles making "music" as you wear them. NICE! I'm really impressed you found time to make 3 such fabulous pieces!

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  17. I am so delighted that you joined in again Miss Jess! Your music is powerful and driving and very rich in tonalities. I especially love the descriptions you gave of the tree lined street. I can feel that with this music. I really didn't know anything about synesthesia before I started researching it quite by accident. I hope that my post did the experiences you have justice! I love all the twists and turns in the works you made. The coils, the flower caps (those are awesome!) and that first one is so beautiful, like an industrial windchime. That shape is new to me as well! Thank you for sharing your music with us, your experience with sounds and colors and of course the beautiful jewelry! Enjoy the day. Erin

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  18. P.S. Don't worry about not getting to all the blogs yet. Here I am only about half way through! My daughter celebrated her 12th birthday party so I was unable to get to them until today! Besides I would rather take my time and read and hear it all! ;-) Erin

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  19. Your descriptions are amazing, thank you so much for sharing. And your pieces are all just gorgeous and truly inspired!

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  20. I've always been fascinated by synesthaesia, and I'm doubly fascinated seeing it put to work as inspiration for your jewellery. I love your pieces, especially the third one with its touch of femininity.

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  21. I don't even know where to start! That first piece is 'the bomb' ... seriously. I love the long twist metal dangles! What a fantastic look!! I've been into an Egyptian Revival mode lately .. and well this would fit right in! I simply LOVE your coil wire wraps in the first bracelet - you're wire work is just stunning! Clearly obsessed with your metal work here! are those bead caps in the last one? well done! beautiful work

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