Friday, July 15, 2011

White House Concert

Satuko Fujii Ma-do, an experimental jazz quartet from Japan performed at the White House at an unusually early 3pm show. The White House concerts are free, being hosted by Benoit Glaser and his beautiful family. The concert space was designed by Benoit and it is acoustically exceptional. Benoit is the music director for Cirque du Soleil.

When I entered, I immediately wandered up the spiral staircase to the top floor where I filled my watercolor brushes with water in the bathroom. I found a seat right up against the railing overlooking the stage. I love this "god's eye" view. Robin Maria-Pedrero was the visual artist who worked next to the stage. Robin's canvas developed quickly as she brushed in large bold blocks of color. Under these colors was some masking agents which she rubbed off revealing hidden shapes and forms. Her bright multi layered work was a good match to the abstract experimental sounds of Satuko Fujii Ma-do.

The music was often dissonant and disjointed. The trumpet was used to create squealing wet sounds that caused some audience members to laugh uncomfortably. It was fun to sketch to and the rising swell and thrust of each piece inspired the lines I was dashing off on the page. Terry showed up late and her friend Wendy Wallenberg was there to joke around with us as we stood around the snack table after the concert. Wendy took over the hostess duties by straightening up and rearranging everything on the table.

I spoke with Robin the visual artist after the performance. She explained how she likes to find recognizable forms in the abstract brushwork she first puts down. She pointed to a canvas on the wall and said the rabbits were such a revelation to her. I didn't see the rabbits at first and I was surprised when their tiny forms jumped out at me.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


Balaji Venugopal said...

I have been a regular visitor to your blog for quite some time now, and I feel my day is incomplete if I do not get to see your latest sketch. Not only are the sketches wonderful, I also find your narrative fascinating. This is just a note to tell you that I very much appreciate what you do.

Thor said...

Thanks so much Balaji.

Robin Pedrero said...

wow this is fabulous!! Thank you for creating this piece!! And for writing about it!

hmuxo said...

After visiting Robin, I found your blog and must say...very interesting.! This sketch is absolutely amazing!