Rule of Three


Graced with Light

by Anne Patterson
Installation art, interactive art

View an image of the artwork

Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. Reams of ribbon hang down from high-arched ceiling to worn, stone floor. The fingers of visitors run through a thousand threads of red, blue, and green, teasing the strands of colour apart, or plaiting them together. Glass-stained sun is caught in the gauzy web of the streamers, refracted in all directions. Thick strings reverberate to accompany the visual display, horse hair meeting taut catgut, as a cellist negotiates the tricky turns of Bach’s solo suites. As sound bounds about the sacred space, it shoots through the shimmering, vertical sheet of material, tying cords and chords together.

Words by Elizabeth Brown


directed by Michel Gagné
Music video, short film

View a still from the film

A simple image of greying lines against a black background gives way to vibrant shapes that dart across the screen. The movement crescendos to encompass increasingly complex, intertwining forms, visualising a jazz improvisation before our eyes. Each outline that we see perfectly reflects a single sound, from the plinking of a piano to the reverberant twanging of a bass, amplifying the experience of listening. We become hyperaware of every sonic gesture, the motion and physical exertion of performance depicted through pictorial invention. A trio of tracks, by Paul Plimley and Barry Guy, act as Michel Gagné’s inspiration.

Words by Katherine Fieldgate

Hermit Thrush at Eve

by Amy Beach

View an image of the composer

Hermit Thrush at Eve begins with an atmospheric, rising gesture played on solo piano. As light dims, a sombre, nocturnal melody with a drooping, descending tendency emerges. But as evening closes in, we lock into an unexpected, ascending trajectory, soaring to the highest register of the instrument before falling in fleeting fragments of filigree fioriture. This motif represents the song of the hermit thrush, the brief appearances of which are sorely missed when they depart. The aura that they leave behind transforms the underlying accompaniment, not detracting from its mournful tone but imparting upon it a resigned beauty.

Words by Lewis Coenen-Rowe

More to discover

Graced with Light: You can watch a video of the artwork, made by the artist, here. Anh-Minh Le has written about the artwork for SFGate.

Sensology: You can watch the film here.

Hermit Thrush at Eve: You can listen to the composition here, and download the sheet music for free from the IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library website.

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