heiko müller enjoys to explore the borderline of crossover art. living in hamburg, germany, his style seems to always share a sense of spirituality that maintains a pure reflection beyond emotion. either with drawings of colored pencil on paper or paintings of oil on wood, heiko easily speaks to the darkest part of the human heart with comforting imagination.
a warm thankyou to heiko for taking the time to contribute to musicisart and for writing honestly about how music effects him as a person, and in return, how it silently blends into his art.
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I have been asked a number of times… and I always feel slightly embarrassed to answer that music has little influence on my creativity. When I’m painting or drawing I tend to listen to audiobooks. The stories distract me from my pictures, enabling my subconscious to guide the process. However, music is very important to me and there are a couple of pieces that inspire me to improve on myself all the time.
I like reading and one of my favourite authors is Haruki Murakami. In his novel “Kafka on the Shore” he mentions Ludwig van Beethoven’s Archduke Trio (Rubinstein, Heifetz, Feuermann Trio) over and over again, which made me curious. I don’t listen much to classical music but this piece is a miracle even to my untrained ears.
The cello makes an opening and is joined by the violin, which quickly jostles into the foreground. After a while the cello seems to accept that and stays in the back when suddenly the piano enters and apparently wants to push them both aside. After the first two got over the shock they start to accompany the piano and gather momentum for an evenly distributed climax. This game repeats itself in a number of variations, never losing the general playfulness.
I’m reminded of happily chattering aunts, playing children or arguing critics, retaining their respect, their good mood and a perfectly good shape at all times. This kind of music inspires me to work on a playful harmony of the various elements in my art.
In art school I almost exclusively listened to jazz, having been particularly fond of 60s avant-garde jazz: Archie Shepp, Eric Dophy, Andrew Hill and of course John Coltrane. I started collecting Coltrane albums and came across the very schmaltzy My One and Only Love on John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.
At first I didn’t like this version at all. Johnny Hartman’s perfectly trained voice seems far too smooth and John Coltrane appears very eager to keep in the background. But for some reason I couldn’t get it out of my head anymore. I had to listen to it over and over again and it became one of my all time favourites. It’s a demonstration that an artist is allowed to try his hand at pure beauty without irony once in a while.
Possibly the strangest album in my entire collection is the one by John Coltrane’s wife Alice Coltrane: Lord of Lords. Alice Coltrane on her harp, accompanied by bass, drums and a string orchestra, creates a rather odd atmosphere, which reminds me of something between a Western epic with settlers on a long trek and Buddha’s enlightenment. Listen to Sri Rama Ohnedaruth and tell me your associations. I haven’t become tired of this in years.
Finally I’d like to come back to the present and commend a song which I discovered on MySpace by pure chance: Ish Marquez: Much Ado about Nada. Ish is an Anti Folk musician from San Francisco. His music is rough, energetic, very playful and has plenty of humour. I like to listen to his CD when I look at my work after painting. I get a kick out of the music and when I notice that the picture supports that, I’m fine. If not, I have to have another go. Wah-hoo!
art, words & playlist by heiko müller