Your goal is to create an intuitive, creative response to the musical selection. Therefore, your format choices are a crucial consideration in your exploration. There are no restrictions. However, it is critical that you maintain clear communication and narrative even though you may be using experimental formats, media, and/or materials.
 
1. Select a song that you would like to visually interpret from the following list:

“Spanish Key” by Miles Davis, from his album Bitches Brew
• “Pharaoh’s Dance” by Miles Davis, from his album Bitches Brew
• “Joy Ryder” by Wayne Shorter, from his album Beyond the Sound Barrier
• “Smilin’ Through” by Wayne Shorter, from his album Beyond the Sound Barrier
• “Black Codes” by Wynton Marsalis, from his album Black Codes (From the Underground)

2. Download the music file for the song that you choose.

3. Research the background of the song, including the author, era, the making of the tune, and/or any interesting facts that
help you understand the chosen musical work.

4. Find a relaxing and quiet environment that is free from distractions. Listen to the song several times, possibly with your
eyes closed, and try to visualize shapes, colors, rhythms, etc. that correspond with the music. Take notes on your various
visualizations after each listening session.
 
5. After listening to the song several times, define your creative approach. Identify parameters including the media, material(s), format, and the visual language that you intend to use.
 
6. Play the music as you begin to create your piece. Try not to be tempted to use preconceived ways of making. Follow your instincts. Act and react to the music, over and over again. The music is your model, functioning just as a human model in an artistic drawing session. Experiment with various visual element choices, including format, color, texture, image, and typography. Remember, the work does not necessarily need to be two-dimensional. It can take on any format that makes sense and reflects what is happening in the music.
 
Mindmapping. WIP.
Freeform sketching created while listening to "Spanish Key" by Miles Davis.
Freeform sketching created while listening to "Spanish Key" by Miles Davis.
Freeform sketching created while listening to "Spanish Key" by Miles Davis.
Testing various color pencils on the black mounting board. WIP.
Color Pencil & Color Pencil Shavings on black Mounting Board. WIP. In the next step, I imported this image into Photoshop and manipulated the colors and background to create a more dynamic and impactful composition.
A Visual Interpretation of the Miles Davis song "Spanish Key." Color Pencil & Color Pencil Shavings on Mounting Board. Alternative Design Approaches, GRDS 380, Spring 2016, SCAD.