Saturday, November 10, 2007

Music To My Eyes

When I look at fine art, I see beauty.

Well, sometimes. Much of the time, I only see crap. I’m not exactly the most cultured alter ego in the world.

But it’s not often that I hear things when I stare at a painting.

That’s about to change, however, because of a discovery in one of the most famous works of art in history. A computer technician and musician in Italy says he’s discovered musical notes hidden in Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper.

It seems that millions of art historians and interested tourists have missed the clues for more than 500 years. The Italian codebreaker drew the five lines of the standard musical staff across a copy of the painting—and discovered that the hands of those sitting at the table and the loaves of bread on it represented musical notes.

The notes apparently sounded like garbage (I’m imagining something like Nickelback) until he used one of Da Vinci’s own tricks. The master used to write some musical riddles from right to left, you see. Playing the unearthed notes backwards in a slow rhythm—suggested by other clues in the painting—reveals a requiem-sounding hymn lasting 40 seconds that fits the somber mood of the depicted scene.

For years, with books like The Da Vinci Code, we’ve been searching art for things like secret mysteries of the Catholic Church. All this time, we’ve been missing great pieces of music concealed within paintings.

I’m guessing these works actually contain earlier versions of the following songs:

Monet’s Water Lilies: The Commodores’ “Still” and Dave Mathews Band’s “Don’t Drink the Water”

Dali’s The Persistence of Memory: Pink Floyd’s “Time” and Coldplay’s “Clocks”

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes : Rush’s “Ceiling Unlimited” and Poison’s “Look But You Can’t Touch”

Van Gogh’s The Starry Night: Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night” and Moby’s “We Are All Made of Stars”

Wood’s American Gothic: John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Small Town” and Pearl Jam’s “Daughter”

Picasso’s Guernica: Iron Maiden’s “Killers” and Slayer’s “Raining Blood”

Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa: Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” and Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch”

Munch’s The Scream: The entire Judas Priest catalog.


At November 10, 2007 1:48 PM, Anonymous whatigotsofar replied to my musings ...

Amazingly, much of the new Britney Spears album can be found in the Dogs Playing Poker.

At November 10, 2007 5:29 PM, Anonymous LisaBinDaCity replied to my musings ...

Dunno. When I see the impressionists I tend to hear classical music.

At November 10, 2007 9:58 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

Hey david
I got the picks I added them to the blog, the results for the college games are up. You're kicking my butt do you want the prize the last winner got? ha an autographed picture of me

At November 12, 2007 12:51 AM, Anonymous Bruce replied to my musings ...

Yano.. Don McLean wrote "Starry, Starry Night" about Van Gogh, but being an alter ego, you probably knew that already..

At November 12, 2007 10:21 AM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

A couple more:

Edward Hopper's Nighthawks: Bob Seger's We've Got Tonight and Harry Chapin's A Better Place to Be.

Georges-Pierre Suerat's Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of Le Grande Jatte: Chicago's Saturday In the Park.

At November 12, 2007 10:51 AM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

I wonder how people come up with these things?

At November 12, 2007 12:14 PM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

After that first comment up there, I really have to go check out my Dogs Playing Poker Lithograph.

At November 12, 2007 2:26 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

PS: I believe you could probably find an early version of Chicago's Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? in Dali's The Persistence of Memory

And I think in just about anything by Norman Rockwell you'd find Chicago's Old Days.

And most of the paintings by Peter Paul Reubens would feature the music to Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls... Because back in his day even Reubens knew that "Fat bottomed girls made the rockin' world go round."

At November 12, 2007 3:27 PM, Blogger Nessa replied to my musings ...

I bet Da Vinci is laughing his ass off.

At November 13, 2007 6:32 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

WIGSF: I can imagine a painting of passed out in the gutter woman would also have her music.

Lisa: I think that I SHOULD hear that when looking at impressionism, but I don't.

Phats: No pic needed, it was fun to make the pics. Nebraska kicked my ass. I'll take another shot--and get you the pics on time--in early December if you'd like.

Bruce: That's news to me! An even better connection to the art.

-- david

At November 13, 2007 6:35 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Perplexio: Great suggestions. I did think of the Saturday in the Park connection to Seurat, but none of the others.

Angel: Dreams. It's all from our dreams.

Fuzz: If there's anyone I suspected of featuring that picture prominently at home, it's you.

Nessa: There are probably more mysteries in his works. This guy was freakin amazing.

-- david

At November 13, 2007 5:37 PM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

With Munch's The Scream, I think you'd find that song by Pairs Hilton.

At November 13, 2007 5:57 PM, Blogger Lee Ann replied to my musings ...

Musical paintings...awesome,huh!
Have a great week.
Lee Ann

At November 16, 2007 3:30 PM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

Hmmm, quite a few to think of, but I hear "Eve of Destruction" when I see any of the Hudson River School. Beauty like that is only fleeting.

At November 18, 2007 2:25 PM, Blogger just me replied to my musings ...

funny post, dude.

Wonder what the embedded notes would sound like on one of those "white paint on white canvas" painting?

...probably they'd make the sound of cash registers. And incredulous laugher.

At November 19, 2007 2:54 PM, Blogger jenn replied to my musings ...

I have nothing clever to add in regards to art and music. I'm not cultured. And if Paris Hilton's in The Scream...I'm so okay with that.

At November 20, 2007 6:16 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Phoenix: Great one. I'm sure her painting would have some moans as well.

Lee Ann: Awesome, indeed.

Mike: I never would have thought of that one. Very clever!

Just Me. Thanks for the virtual pat on the virtual back. Maybe the soundtrack for those paintings is white noise.

Jenn: I have yet to find the art that makes me hear Tool. Other than Tool album covers, of course.

-- david

At November 20, 2007 6:16 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

I'm on vacation this week. Let me know your other "art music ideas!" SEE YOU IN A WEEK!

-- david

At November 21, 2007 1:01 PM, Blogger DaBich replied to my musings ...

"The notes apparently sounded like garbage (I’m imagining something like Nickelback)"
HEY NOW!!! I happen to adore Nickelback!
Enjoy the vacation, I'll kick yer butt when ya get back ! Happy Turkey Day.

At November 22, 2007 1:11 AM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

Have a great Thanksgiving David

At November 22, 2007 4:26 PM, Blogger Lee Ann replied to my musings ...


At November 23, 2007 6:34 PM, Blogger BeckEye replied to my musings ...

There is a small art gallery near my office, and I went in one day to find, in one room, pictures of office equipment. Seriously. Framed pictures, or more like lithographs, of a copy machine, fax, desk, etc. How is that art? And what song could be found in those? "Take This Job and Shove It?"


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