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Here below is the English text (for those of us whose Dutch is useless) of an article about our work, written by the brilliant music journalist Olga de Kort for Piano Bulletin magazine (April 2019):

MusicpaintingLlVE: A 'BILINGUAL' RECITAL OF MUSIC AND PAINTING

Music and painting are no strangers to each other in art history: throughout the centuries they have inspired and influenced each other. It is not at all unusual to describe a music piece as being colourful, but the idea that you could actually paint these colours on a canvas will tend to raise an eyebrow. What do you paint when listening to music? Do you paint the mood the music arouses, or specific images that it evokes? The duo MusicpaintingLlVE paints music performed live in a recital where the painting is created in front of the audience.

PIANO MUSIC AS A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION AND THE SOUND-VISUAL BASIS
The duo MusicpaintingLlVE consists of Pianist Reinis Zarins and Artist Maryleen Schiltkamp. They perform unusual programs in which Chopin’s Fourth Ballade,
Schumann’s Fantasie opus 17 and Franck’s Prélude, Chorale et Fugue are combined with Couperin’s Tic-Toc-Choc, Bach-Busoni’s Chaconne, Messiaen’s Par Lui tout a été fait, and La Valse by Ravel.

The idea of converting live music into colours and shapes is both appealing and bold; after all, how people experience music is highly subjective. This alone makes attending such a recital and comparing your own experience with the painting process taking place on stage a very interesting experience. According to the duo, the element of time is the most challenging aspect of ‘translating’ piano music into a painting. The time intervals in music correspond to ‘the movements within a canvas frame’ while painting. The brushstrokes follow the musical movement and thus unite the time element with the image.

The artist, who has also played piano since her childhood, has sought ways to bring all the elements together. The result is the current practice of ‘painting music in a way that the image emerges before your eyes simultaneously with the perception of sound.’

Maryleen Schiltkamp has been ‘painting music’ for over seven years. In her earlier work she would sometimes seek inspiration in a musical piece, but her desire to transfer her experience of listening to music immediately onto canvas only emerged later. After the Latvian pianist Reinis Zariņš saw some of Maryleen’s paintings and proposed that she paint live during his recital, they decided to form a duo. Their first collaboration in London, where Reinis lives, was followed by studio try-outs, festival performances in London, Amsterdam and Prague, and concerts at venues like Koncertzāle "Cēsis"/Cēsis Concert Hall in Latvia and Markiezenhof in Bergen op Zoom (The Netherlands).

Besides MusicpaintingLlVE, Maryleen Schiltkamp also paints chamber and orchestra music such as Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony and Kodaly's Cello sonata. She also improvises at festivals with sound artists, dancers or electric guitar.

LIVE 'MUSIC PAINTING'
What is difficult, what helps and what hinders? What should you focus on during live music painting? These are the questions that the audience frequently puts to the duo, following their performance. Maryleen explains that the most difficult aspect for her is probably to represent the two different languages as a synthesis. They can merge together in the ‘heat’ of the moment, but they can never become the same thing.

Their performances require months of preparation. Reinis Zarins carries out a musical analysis of the music and Maryleen Schiltkamp studies the score, the development of the music in time as well as the key moments, until she knows the piece by heart. She represents the key moments graphically beforehand, creates a design for the entire canvas, and rehearses alone and with the pianist to make sure her work fits within the duration of the music piece. Only after these preconditions have been met, she can take the freedom to improvise.

What hinders is also what makes the performance so special: the paint and the brushes. The viscosity of the paint, into which the brushes are repeatedly dipped, must be combined with the swiftness of the painter’s movements. It is hard work, physically; but for Maryleen’s music painting it is the only way to remain as close to the composition as possible and to give free rein to her own musical experience. No matter how much she is absorbed by the painting process, she must always remain in step with where her duo-partner is ‘in the music’, and must constantly anticipate what comes next. This ensures that there will be enough space on the canvas during the painting process.

It is up to Reinis to propose new pieces, but Maryleen always needs to study the pieces well in order to form her own ideas. Having worked together since 2014, they are very much attuned to each other and know from experience when something will or won’t work. Their goal is to present a varied programme with sufficient depth, diversity in terms of character, tone colour and timbre, as illustrated again in their new Russian programme with Gubaidulina's Chaconne, the Sonata Reminiscenza by Medtner, Skryabin’s Seventh Sonata and Shostakovich’s Prelude & Fugue no. 24. For this programme they found four different styles that each demand a different approach with regard to painting.

Reinis Zarins and Maryleen Schiltkamp both see their collaboration as rather unique. They describe themselves as ‘a musician who can also think visually’ and as ‘a painter who is also musically inspired’. This combination makes them a strong duo, and doubly creative.

www.maryleenschiltkamp.com
www.reiniszarins.com
Musicpainting Live
Musicpainting Live
Article on MusicpaintingLIVE in Dutch music magazine
Piano.Bulletin - April 2019
by Olga de Kort
Musicpainting Live
Musicpainting Live
Shostakovich Prelude & Fugue No.24 - Clip

a shorter clip was made from the video so you can enjoy the very last part ...

Festival "Winteravonden aan de Amstel" 2018
Hermitage Amsterdam
Musicpainting Live
Shostakovich Prelude & Fugue No.24 - Clip
Hermitage Amsterdam Festival "Winteravonden aan de Amstel" 2018 Reinis Zarins - pianist Maryleen Schiltkamp - painter
vimeo.com
Musicpainting Live
Musicpainting Live shared a memory.
The Latvian roots of our musicpainting-stand ...
Musicpainting Live
Musicpainting Live
Studio rehearsal of the Gubaidulina Chaconne
Musicpainting Live
Musicpainting Live
Here is our Medtner Sonata Reminiscenza ...
LIVE at Hermitage Amsterdam!

Festival 'Winteravonden aan de Amstel' 2018
Musicpainting Live