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Friday, July 10, 2020


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Isabel Benito-Gutierrez

Isabel Benito-Gutierrez
Music as a collaborative discipline: issues to address, exchange of music and art elements and the role of the contributors.

The purpose of my research derives from the connection found between some contemporary music and the visual arts. Very often we can observe in painting a texture or structure that music can translate into different sounds applying techniques that can be understood as equivalent. The objective of my research is to work in extracting and moving by analogy concepts from one field to the other in a bidirectional way creating a code in which both disciplines merge into each other producing an audiovisual experience for the public. Both, sound and visual arts are understood as one full work where what we see is related to what we listen and vice versa.

Besides, I am also including other sources of inspiration such as poetry applying rhetorical figures in music and emphasising the text with sounds. I am aware of the different techniques applied to visual arts and creative writing and I am considering them when creating my works but as a composer, my research is more focused on the musical perspective and the creation of new possibilities of concert performances.

I am aware that other composers have used painting as a source of inspiration; Mauricio Sotelo was inspired by Sean Scully in the creation of his cycle of pieces Wall of Light (2003-07), Sotelo writes about Scully’s paintings, Hilda Paredes connects in her piece Homenaje a Remedios Varo (1995-96) different works by the surrealist painter Remedios Varo with music, Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel (1971) based on Mark Rothko’s paintings in a chapel in Houston (Texas), Harrison Birtwistle and his work The Triumph of Time (1971-72) which was based on the painting of the Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel, and the piece Three Screaming Popes (1988-89) written by Mark-Anthony Turnage inspired by Francis Bacon’s canvas. What makes my research and work innovative is that it is not just the idea of observing a piece of art as a musical inspiration but considering the artist/painter as one more performer who follows some directions. In that way, the visual art affects the balance of the piece, meets compositional techniques and is coordinated and structured not only in the space, but also in time as music is.


Research Degree: PhD (Music Composition), Full-time
Department: RNCM/MIRIAD