Siskiyou in Groninger Museum

A link between music and painting is easily made. Most music creates images in your mind and dreamily lo-fi music creates the most wonderful dreamscapes. This must have been the idea behind Groninger Museum Live Concert & Art: A Different View to Art. Four acts played at various location in the Groninger Museum.

Opening the museum to the public with music attracts a different audience then when these bands play in venues or pubs. The audience is invited to view the art in the locations where the artists are still setting up. It’s a very different feel as to when waiting for a gig to start in Vera.

For a Multimedia Tour various artists were asked to write or donate a song based on a painting by Jan Altink (I’m assuming ‘Yellow Brick Road’ by Angus & Julia Stone was not written for, but linked to the painting ‘Blooming pear-tree near Euvelgunne’). Three of these artists were set up at locations in the museum to perform a few short sets and to close the evening Siskiyou was to play in the Auditorium.

I first visited Bard de Kroon, a Dutch musician performing under the name Homemade Empire. This was by far the most lo-fi gig of the evening. Bart on guitar and on most songs helped by a girl who’s name I didn’t capture. She played a wide array of instruments; keyboard, blow-piano, saw and a toy xylophone. Musically a very dreamlike landscape… almost as in a painting. Photographically it was a huge challenge as there was hardly any lighting to speak of and the low volume mad it impossible to shoot freely. Luckily my FujiFilm X100 is completely silent.


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After Homemade Empire’s set had finished (and Will Samson’s set across the hall), the audience had a short time to wander leisurely to the┬áStarck pavilion, looking at the paintings and photos and then to meet up at the end of the pavilion where American Ryan Lee Crosby was ready for his set. The light here was better, but again: only one single man with an acoustic guitar is a challenge. Although Ryan Lee can rock it out, tonight he was fully focussed on lo-f small Folk music. It required an attentive audience, which he also got. Luckily the audience here really did come for the music, the serene atmosphere can be so easily broken with this kind of music.


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After Ryan Lee’s set both Homemade Empire and Will Samson played a second set. As I’d already seen homemade Empire, this time I found a front seat for UK based Will Samson‘s gig. Still very softly played, guitar and piano centrally placed and using keyboard and loopmachines for a more ambient-sound.


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Then another set back in the pavilion of Ryan Lee Crosby, a short break and then the audience was welcomed into the Auditorium where Canadian Siskiyou played a long set. Mostly folky and Singer/songwriter with wild violent outbursts. At one point Homemade Empire was asked to join Siskiyou, adding a two saw-players to the band. The museum is a great location for this kind of music, placing artists in the midst of physical art. As a photographer however I’m itching for some stagelights though ;)


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