You may recall my post last March sketching in the Savannah Bonaventure Cemetery, or at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery last fall. I love sketching on location and I find a sense of natural beauty in cemeteries. Though many people may find it odd, a Ukrainian composer from Toronto, Wasyl Sydorenko, saw a sense of joy and celebration in my painting from Savannah. He was looking for cover art for a funeral march that he had been writing and rewriting since the age of 13, evoking the same sense of celebration.
“Marcia Funèbre – was my first attempt writing the Red Carpet March. It was abandoned when the music turned out sombre, not festive.”
He asked if he could use the painting as cover art. When I suggested the piece from Sleepy Hollow he said, “There is a kind of beauty, serenity, mournfulness, tragedy… present that I think I find in my music, my own funereal march. My music, I guess is not about the dead but about the experience of the living. It’s a complex set of emotions which your watercolour perfectly complements if used on the cover as proposed above”.
I understood and appreciated his distinction right away and agreed to sell him rights to publish. It was a pleasure conversing with him as I discovered his own father was a painter. Petro Sydorenko painted the portrait of Louis Quilico as Rigoletto from backstage in 1973. (see Souvenirs and Mementos image above upper right side) He also painted the couple in the below image, Luella and Gorman Young, curators of Barnum House, Grafton Ontario in 1977.
It amazes me how the various arts can find inspiration and language in similar things. Music inspires visual arts, and visual language inspires music.