John Skeen

Art Discipline: 
Morgantown, WV
United States
Dates of Residence: 
Oct 22, 2007 to Dec 14, 2007

Currently a freelance composer/artist and part-time librarian, in 2007 Skeen was invited to attend the visual music symposium "Sight and Sound" at Univ. of Texas, Austin. His music/paintings will be viewed/performed at the recital. He has been in several juried art shows and performances in Morgantown, West Virginia. In 2005 his commissioned songs were performed at the women's festival, "Kaleidoscope". He has been an independent piano tuner/rebuilder and for ten years was in a monastic/service community under Holy Orders. He taught composition and piano at Syracuse University in the mid- to late-sixties. "I am fascinated with the relationship between music and painting. In exploring this, I paint abstract pictures and set them to my own original music, and write the music manuscript on the same surface with the painting, so these two otherwise distinct media are experienced together. I call this art form music/painting. The forms are abbreviated and compressed, as haiku poetry is, and for the same esthetic reasons. I am exploring and developing the equivalent of haiku poetry in these other media, (haiku music and haiku painting), and how they inform each other as an integrated expression, as synergy. Sometimes I include original, and extremely brief, poetic expressions on the painting as well. I try to point to the underlying experience which each art form can evoke individually, but which they nevertheless all have in common. In so doing, I attempt to triangulate, so to speak, a sense within the listener/viewer of the interconnectedness of things, which, despite our individual differences, I believe is fundamental to our humanness."