Archive for the Guides Category

Thomas Cole’s “The Course of Empire” (1834-36) [GUIDE]

Posted in Art, Guides, Romantic with tags , , on February 25, 2012 by Nell

The Course of Empire

 Thomas Cole’s The Course of Empire (1834-36) is a series of five allegorical paintings depicting the rise and fall of a fantastical civilization.

Cole envisions a prehistoric age in which nature dominates man (The Savage State); an ancient utopia in which people live in balance with nature (The Pastoral State); an era of decadence (Consummation); war and chaos (Destruction); and finally, an uninhabited world in which the ruins of mankind are once again overtaken by nature (Desolation).


Music Inspired by Art

Modern Dance in America [GUIDE]

Posted in Dance, Guides, Modern with tags on February 12, 2012 by Nell

 Modern Dance in America is an evolving overview of some of the most important and influential choreographers/dancers, works, and movements in the history of Modern dance in America from the turn of the 20th century up to the present.


Pioneers: Americans in Europe

The Heroic Age of Modern Dance

The Second Generation

Performance Reviews

Related Topics

Music Inspired by Art [GUIDE]

Posted in Art, Guides, Music with tags , on February 10, 2012 by Nell

 Music Inspired by Art is a guide to music I’ve composed in response to ideas, atmospheres, and narratives from visual artworks ranging from 20th century Modernism to Italian Renaissance sculptures.

I believe music has the potential to have a profound effect on the way that we see and understand visual art, and vice versa, in the same way that a score enhances the experience of a film. I aim to create music that acts as a pathway for listeners into a richer and more meaningful relationship with works of visual art. Similarly, I hope the artwork may act as a pathway for viewers into my music.

Most of the content in this guide was originally created for a concert companion for a live performance of several of these works. View the original concert companion here. The concert and content for the the companion website were funded by an Entrepreneurial Grant from the New England Conservatory of Music.

The Course of Empire (2008)

Inspired by paintings by Thomas Cole (1801-1848), English-American)
[learn about the art]


Watercolors (2011)

Inspired by paintings by Charles Burchfield (1893-1967, American)
[learn about the art]


Setsugekka (2011)

Inspired by woodblock prints by Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858, Japanese)
[learn about the art]


To Create One’s Own World(2009)

The Faraway Nearby: Georgia O’Keeffe and the New Mexico Landscape (2010) [VIDEO]

Inspired by the paintings and artistic philosophy of Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986, American)


Revealed in Stone (2009)

Inspired by poems and sculptures by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564, Italian)
[learn about the poems]
[learn about the sculptures] 

Charles Burchfield, watercolor painter [GUIDE]

Posted in Art, Guides, Modern with tags on February 10, 2012 by Nell


Charles BurchfieldCharles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967) was a one-of-a-kind American watercolor painter who created wonderful transcendental images of nature who lived and worked primarily in Western New York.

Visit the topics in this guide to learn about some major themes and influences in his artwork; discover selected representative paintings; and to hear and explore music I’ve composed inspired by the paintings.


An Introduction to Charles Burchfield

Featured Paintings

Music Inspired by Art

Vocal Music in the Medieval and Renaissance Periods [GUIDE]

Posted in Guides, Medieval, Music, Renaissance, Videos with tags , , on January 30, 2012 by Nell

 Vocal music in the Medieval and Renaissance periods is some of the most interesting and beautiful music of all time. Use this guide as a jumping-off point to explore some of the more important genres and techniques in the Medieval era through the Renaissance (ending around 1600).



…video coming soon!