LARGE SCALE. Panels for Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble Stage Backdrop Fully Underway / by Linda Price-Sneddon

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I've got two weeks under my belt working with the panels that will serve as stage backdrop for PNME's second week of performances this July. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

There's been a learning curve as I wrestle with multiple 20 foot long floppy paintings and occasional epithet has bounced off the studio walls as a wet panel collapses onto itself :) But as with any new challenge, I'm finding my stride. 

  In creating the panels' striated design and color, I am thinking about the life cycle of individual experience, moving from physical and emotional need satisfaction towards spiritual peace with our human existence. I've intended that the panels provide a rich backdrop for the musical experience that composers D.J. Sparr and Ivette Sperryman have created for week two's theme, "What I Leave Behind", a performance that is a meditation on the question "When I'm gone, what remains".

In creating the panels' striated design and color, I am thinking about the life cycle of individual experience, moving from physical and emotional need satisfaction towards spiritual peace with our human existence. I've intended that the panels provide a rich backdrop for the musical experience that composers D.J. Sparr and Ivette Sperryman have created for week two's theme, "What I Leave Behind", a performance that is a meditation on the question "When I'm gone, what remains".

I thought about Rothko's Chapel paintings and his use of the horizon line in his earlier work when I began the design.   Sequences of stacked gray horizons provide a sense of movement through time.  Intermittent color blocks give us a place to energize, rest and reflect.

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The color blocks move from green (signifying the natural/physical), to red  (emotional) to violet blue (our spiritual being). When I paint each color block, I use the brush stroke to give each one a distinct voice, each is its own unique physical, emotional, spiritual landscape. 

As an artist who's work relies on process for new ideas, I am quite interested in how these panels look when they hit ground and run out onto the floor. This is causing an evolution in my original idea of all panels suspended at the same height. The actual ability to do this will be constrained by the space requirements of the ensemble, but perhaps there will be some opportunity for this to be realized to some degree.

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I'm excited to see these panels brought to life under the skillful hand of lighting director Andrew Ostrowski. Also, still in development is the sculptural component designed by Val Cox that will be suspended and twine between.