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Fulton Hill's artists collaborate with the Richmond Symphony to create art inspired by music.

Seeing the Music

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State of the Art '99
Richmond Symphony and Fulton Hill artists
6 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 15
Fulton Hill Studios
1000 Carlisle Ave.
$50 per couple, $35 single tickets
788-1212 When photographer Bernard Herman and Richmond Symphony Assistant Conductor Gerardo Edelstein look at the score for Haydn's Symphony No. 101, they see two different things. Edelstein sees musical notes that instantly translate to a melody inside his head. Herman sees abstract symbols that serve as inspiration for a photograph of artfully arranged twigs and dried flowers. On Friday, Oct. 15, both Edelstein's and Herman's interpretation of Haydn's symphony will be a part of "State of the Art '99" at Fulton Hill Studios, the first-ever collaboration between the Richmond Symphony and visual artists. The event will feature the Richmond Symphony performing Strauss' Serenade and Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 4 in addition to the Haydn. Works from eight Fulton Hill artists will be displayed in the concert hall, many of which have been inspired by the music on the program. A silent auction and reception with foods from Ellwood Thompson's Natural Market will be held before the concert. In addition to Herman, participating artists include Don Crow, Kathleen Markowitz, Pam Fox, Amie Oliver, Cindy Neuschwander, Larry Boone and Lora Beldon. "It is fascinating to see the way a visual artist reacts to music and the way a musician reacts to the art," says Bruce Cauthen, the symphony's marketing director. "We're both trying to do the same things in terms of reaching the audience." While the concept of melding visual arts with music may be new to Richmond, Edelstein says that at one time, it was common. "In Bach's time, people usually went to churches to hear music," he says. "German and Italian churches were filled with beautiful art." What is unusual though, is to ask an artist to create a visual work based on listening to a piece of music. Both the artists and Edelstein have been inspired by the varied results. There's Herman, who took a literal approach to the assignment. After studying the scores from all three compositions he artistically rendered the first few bars of each score as a collage made from natural materials. Bamboo twigs and pussy willow branches stand in for the musical staff while dried roses and sunflowers are the musical notes. Herman's photographs of these works will be displayed. Markowitz's response to Haydn's Symphony No. 101 is completely emotional. She painted while listening to the music, filling her canvas with large fields of color. "When I see color, I hear pitch," she says, and for her, Haydn ultimately sounded green. Her canvas is now filled with soft greens and blues accented by rhythmic white stipples. Oliver plans to create a portrait of one or more of the composers based on listening to the music and reading about their lives. "It will not be a conventional portrait," she says. "I will synthesize what I see in the pictures of them with the music that they composed." The exercise has made both the artists and Edelstein think about art — and music — differently. "I think anyone who knows this music will be surprised by seeing these [works]," Edelstein says. "I never thought Haydn could look that

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