Experience the Hood Museum's collection in new ways. Visitor Services Guide Daniel Nassau paired music with Courtney Leonard's site-specific installation BREACH: Logbook 20 | NEBULOUS.
As you climb up the Kaish Gallery stairs, you are surrounded by Courtney Leonard's installation BREACH: Logbook 20 | NEBULOUS. Like the water it represents, the artwork is meant to shroud you upon entering. In "Svefn-g-englar" by Icelandic band Sigur Rós, a similarly enveloping angelic voice sings atop aquatic, floating music. The music, like water itself, feels buoyant, ethereal, something that you can figuratively and literally lost in. Water, especially the ocean, can also create that feeling. You feel one with the sea, connected. Both the installation and the music feel hopeful.
Also aquatic in nature, both in its created sound and in its title, "Ocean" by the Velvet Underground captures the experience of standing on the shore, your senses engaged as the tide rolls in and out. The music accurately portrays how tides, when they are moving, are continuous, sometimes large, sometimes small. The ebb and flow of the music captures both the near stillness and the calamitous hitting of the shore as a new wave comes in and an old one goes out. Courtney Leonard's installation, using the continual repetition of the videos, captures that same rhythm and feeling.
Finally, "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" by Marvin Gaye asks us to think about how humankind has both used and abused natural resources--or in simpler terms, the slow ruination of our earth. Courtney Leonard's art, by portraying traps, dams, boats, etc., shows us how on a daily basis we are continually changing and disrupting nature.
The first two songs are representative of how water may feel, be seen, be heard, etc. The last song resonates differently, as it accuses humans of what we have done to the planet.
"Look and Listen" is a collaborative playlist project. Think of how your own favorite songs could fit with a work of art and share a playlist with us on any social media platform by tagging @HoodMuseum or using the hashtag #HoodMuseum.
Written by Daniel Nassau, Visitor Services Guide at the Hood Museum of Art