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Brush-Reed Duo Combines Visual Arts, Music

Brush-Reed Duo Combines Visual Arts, Music

Posted: October 18, 2013

Some people say they see colors while listening to music. Patrons who attend the Brush-Reed Duo concert, Tuesday, October 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Louis P. Ciminelli Recital Hall, not only will have the chance to see colors, but also a fully formed painting.

The multidisciplinary performance co-sponsored by SUNY Buffalo State’s Music and Fine Arts departments pairs Boston, Massachusetts, saxophonist Jennifer Bill with visual artist Linnea Doyle. While Bill performs music ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach to James DeMars, Doyle will create an acrylic painting. According to the artists, the Brush-Reed Duo engages the audience “through color, pitch, representational lines, rhythm, and expression in what is known as an aural-visual experience.”

“I was so impressed by their video that I wanted to book them when they contacted me about performing here,” said Brad Fuster, chair and associate professor of music. “We are extremely excited to jointly present this unique duo with the Fine Arts Department.”

Philip Ogle, chair and professor of fine arts, said this performance will help students and others see how the two disciplines intersect. He already uses that concept in his art courses.

“We’ll talk about rhythm and harmony in music, which are elements of design, too,” Ogle said. “They are just applied differently. When I use music metaphors to help explain a concept, my students get it right away.”

Bill teaches at Boston University, Providence College, and the Boston Conservatory and serves as director of the Boston University Concert Band and the Providence College Symphonic Winds. Doyle, who studied illustration at Washington University in St. Louis, practiced her craft for years in Minneapolis, Minnesota, before recently relocating to Los Angeles.

The two women met in high school near Minneapolis where they both played in the band, but they headed in opposite directions afterward. A few years ago, they reconnected and decided to pursue this unusual collaboration, which has resulted in a handful of performances including one at the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 2012. After each performance, they invite audience members on stage to look at the finished painting and ask questions.

“This is the unique kind of performance that highlights how the performing and visual arts are inextricably connected and shines a light on how the collaborative process of the creation of art, whether sonic or visual, is what connects us all as humans,” Fuster said. “I am personally excited to showcase the Brush-Reed duo to the Buffalo State community and Western New York and am confident this will be an event that unites all of the Arts and Humanities students and faculty in a powerful way.”

Tickets to the Brush-Reed Duo are $10 and free for students. Order by phone (716) 878-3005 or online. Free admission tickets are only available in person at the Rockwell Hall Box Office with student ID.

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