The National Gallery

Performing Musical Interpretations Of The Paintings Of Paul Klee

by Jason MacNeil

21 January 2007

 

Stay with me here, please. In 1968, Chuck Mangione and Roger Karshner are in Cleveland. There they decide to give “musical interpretations” to the paintings of famous painter Paul Klee. Released on the first time on CD, this is one of those oddity albums that are very interesting to say the least. Reeking of a trippy, psychedelic feel that brings to mind Hair and a cross between the Polyphonic Spree and The Mamas and The Papas, “Barbaric, Classical, Solemn” is an odd but inviting tune. Meanwhile, the haunting “Diana in the Autumn Wind” has a haunting texture to it. Things get quite “out there” with “Boys with Toys” that could have fallen out of Syd Barrett’s back pocket. The idea of creating music from art isn’t new, but it’s often a hit and miss, the latter exemplified by “Self Portrait” and the hokey “Fear of Becoming Double”. The album has some redeeming moments with “A Child’s Game” that is terrible sweet and the quasi-rap of “Fear Behind the Curtain”. Three versions of “Long Hair Soulful” place the already spacey album much further out there.

Performing Musical Interpretations of the Paintings of Paul Klee

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