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The "Tango Corto": A Few Notes Written in Stone by Ray Hutchinson

On 08, Oct 2009 | 2 Comments | In Uncategorized | By man-admin

We don’t think we have ever seen anything like the “Tango Corto” — a work of art that is both a 60 second piano composition and a 77″ x 59.5″ marble mosaic created by Ray Hutchinson.

Have a look at the video.

For our Facebook Fans,

See what we mean? The whole concept is simply extraordinary. We knew we had to find out more about who and what was behind it all. We contacted Mr. Hutchinson who generously answered our questions.

Mr. Hutchinson is a 55 year old Scotsman from Berwyn, IL who recently returned to college to pursue a Master of Arts in Humanities. “A Few Notes Written In Stone” is the equivalent of his Master’s thesis comprised of three components: an “album” of musical compositions, a mosaic and a final paper.

The first component — 10 “Piano Miniatures” — are short works for the piano he characterizes as “the music equivalent to literary short stories.” All were written in an Eclectic Historicist compositional style that blends multiple historical styles together to create a somewhat new sound. From the titles to the compositions themselves, the works were designed to engage the listener on as many levels as possible. “The assumption was that it is easier to engage new fine art listeners through a presentation in a sixty second miniature than it is through a Wagner opera!” We would have to agree with that.

The second component of his project was the creation of a large mosaic with one of the miniatures as its subject — hence the marble wonder in the video.

How was the size determined? “As a composer, I felt it was essential that I create a mosaic that would be playable or readable by a pianist. This meant all the elements would have to be proportional. Therefore, the size of the mosaic would be determined by a proportional expansion of the mosaic’s smallest element.”

“Through some experimentation, I determined that I could slice granite no thinner than 3/64″ thick. That thickness is seven times the size of a staff line on a sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of manuscript paper. The overall size of the mosaic is seven times that size (77″ x 59.5″). The pianist can play the tango seated ten feet away from the music.”

Hutchinson tells us that Tango Corto is his first mosaic. He also wants us to know that without his wife Laura (“a trooper!”) it would not have been possible for him to go back to school and tackle such a large, intricate project.

Will there be more mosaics? “I have considered using the other nine miniatures as mosaic subjects in a less direct way. On the other hand, I should probably have my head examined.”

Enjoy — Nancie

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  1. Margi

    Brilliant!! Would love to see this artist/composer at SAMA someday to give a presentation of this project.

  2. Paul Anater

    Man! Talk about mixed media. What a fantastic idea.