The Japanese artist Takashi Murakami combines highly refined classical Japanese painting techniques with distinctive Pop sensibilities. Known for his “Superflat” style, directly influenced by manga and anime, the artist creates works that explode with color and playfulness. For the 2015–16 ski season, in collaboration with Aspen Skiing Company, Murakami has produced four unique images, all of which embody his trademark visual aesthetic.
This monthlong program for kids in grades K–4 is held weekly at the Aspen Art Museum. Taking place after school most Wednesdays from 2:30–4 p.m., these workshops recognize the value of exposing children to the arts at an early age and use the artist’s process as an educational tool. Museum educators and teaching artists lead classes that include activities in the gallery and take-home projects.
American composer Nico Muhly works in eclectic contexts and at a dizzyingly prolific pace. Drawing inspiration equally from English Renaissance liturgical music, downtown minimalism of the sixties and seventies, and more popular forms, Muhly has created not only orchestral works and choral compositions, but also film scores, ballets, and string arrangements for rock bands.
Playing with the ways that music can be conceived, performed, or experienced as public, Muhly’s work, Drones for Aspen, was composed specifically for low-power FM broadcast. The work could be accessed from any standard FM radio and becomes as pervasive as the radio waves that carry it. Whether accessed through bedside clocks in hotel rooms, receivers in cars, or portable radios on a hike, the experience was both intimate and collective. Vintage transistor radios could be checked out from the museum, and visitors were welcome to borrow one for a contemplative hike down the Rio Grande trail. In addition, Muhly wrote a score to be layered on top of the composition, allowing musicians to augment the work with their own individual and collective performances.
As part of Aspen’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Parade, this open-ended music was played by a procession of musicians accompanying the broadcast. A number of small concerts will be organized for museum grounds and other locations throughout Aspen during the summer, and two special concert performances of Drones for Aspen will be presented in collaboration with the Aspen Music Festival and School.
General operating support is provided by Colorado Creative Industries. CCI and its activities are made possible through an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.