Receive Festival updates by email


CALENDAR 2 - 20 MARCH 2011

28 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

select a day

Bookmark and Share

White Night at Pierre Peeters Gallery

It is the tension between a positive and negative emotional experience created by a pianist's sleight of hand that is explored in Shannon Novak's Semitone Shift.

12 March, 6:00pm - midnight

Group, Habitat Courtyard, 251 Parnell Road

Shannon Novak is devoted to using geometric forms to represent his deep and abiding interest in the link between sound, colour, form, time and emotion. Novak's exploration began when the artist became a pianist at an early age taking his cues from both classical and modern schools of music and later composing and performing his own musical works. The years spent as a pianist, mirrors the years spent as a visual artist, but it has only been of recent times that these two paths have crossed resulting in unique and compelling studies into how they relate.

His latest exhibition, Semitone Shift, explores how the emotional content of sound changes as a pianist moves from one note to another. When a pianist moves from one note to another in a twelve note scale, they move or shift one semitone upward or downward. When playing a major triad made of three notes, shifting the middle note in the triad downward one semitone changes the major triad into a minor triad. It is a subtle change that has a profound effect on the emotional experience for the listener; the major triad evokes more positive emotions whilst the minor triad elicits largely negative emotions.

The use of colour and form build on Novak's recent work that explored the musical note as a multi-dimensional entity. The interaction between curves and straight lines represent the more measurable aspect of the musical note; its pitch, loudness, and duration. Colours represent the more immeasurable content of the musical note - its emotional content as inherited from the pianist who performs in a positive or negative emotional state.

A piano CD composed and performed by Novak is available as a complement to each work.

Image credit: Shannon Novak E Flat Major and C Sharp Minor, Mezzo Piano, quaver 2010