Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Completed commission:
"Psalm 150"

Here's my latest completed commission: "Psalm 150." This papercut was commissioned as a gift for a local musician who is an accomplished pianist, conductor, orchestrator, composer and vocalist. It's based on the words of Psalm 150, written by King David, and urges the praise of God through music:
Praise God in His sanctuary;
praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
praise Him for His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with blasts of the horn;
praise Him with harp and lyre!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let all that breathes praise God. Halleluyah.
The papercut is built on the word which appears at the beginning of many of the poem’s lines: 
“הללוהו – Halleluhu – Praise Him.” Within those letters are the psalmist’s words for each of the instruments. Surrounding the letters are swirling patterns of line and shape that evoke those instruments: the curved neck of a lute, the narrow waist of a drum, the plucked strings of a lyre, and more.

The background of this papercut features the tones and textures of musical instruments, in blues and browns and gold and silver, alongside snippets of cut-up comic books and a medieval illustration of King David himself, playing his harp. There are numerous surprises to be found in these backgrounds, including one space left intentionally blank as a nod to the pauses between notes which, as one famous musician said, is where artistry lies.

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