Chamber Music (En Meines Herzens) by Stephen Sebald - 6 x 4 inches Signed ani art academy synesthesia still life skull thread string box
Stephen Sebald
B. 1979

Chamber Music (En Meines Herzens)

Charcoal and pastel on paper
6 x 4 inches

The idea of chamber music was the first to evolve after learning of the theme for this, the Synesthesia show. The idea of different objects, that convey the idea of a chamber to varying degrees was the next. Though I’m a lover of music, and have eclectic tastes, I confess I know very little about it regards to performing, reading, the academic aspects, or anything else other than that I enjoy listening to it. I started by learning a little more about what chamber music is, which is in general, music which can be performed by a small group, typically that which can fit into a small room. This broad definition still allowed for many creative avenues, which I tried to narrow by selecting a musical piece that could be classified as chamber music. This led me to En Meines Herzens Grunde, which is a portion of JS Bach’s St. John Passion. I found a number of variations in modern day recordings, and sheet music for chorale and instrumental arrangements; all seemed to be for a quartet, which is a typical grouping for a chamber setting. I found many translations from German to English for En Meines Herzens Grunde, though the main idea which seems to fit the context of the piece is “from the bedrock (or bottom) of my heart.” This title fit well with my idea of objects made up of chambers, especially, since one that I originally wanted to include was a human heart (model in this case). I think the chambered nautilus is straightforward as well, whereas the skull and book upon which it sits require a broadening of the definition of a chamber to understand the intent. The spools and bobbins of thread in the foreground, made up of white and the three traditional primaries, are a play on the idea of the four strings that would produce the music in the chamber they’ve been placed in.

Inspired by: "En Meines Herzens Grunde" by Johann Sebastian Bach

Stephen Sebald
Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc., New York City