On Saturday, June 13, 2015, we gave an artist talk as featured artists in Exhibit III at Edgewood Orchard Galleries in Fish Creek, WI.  Below is a loose transcript of our talk.

Let me start by saying how thankful we are that our supporters encouraged us to approach Edgewood — we’ve found a wonderful home and family here.

Paula’s and my work is experimental and created in a digital environment. Modeled after concepts used in the creation and synthesis of sounds for electronic music composition, the techniques we developed over the last 15 years are unique, innovative and complex.  And, like the genre of ambient music that provides a theoretical foundation for our creative process, the works included in our show emphasize mood and atmosphere and reward you for looking close.

For example, one of my pieces in the show is titled Blue Evening Timbre and it explores the nuances of a landscape I find especially captivating.

Web Image of "Blue Evening Timbre" © Dave Tilton

Blue Evening Timbre
(36 x 45 inches) Edition of 6 © Dave Tilton

Sometimes, a little before sunset, when you look out over the water and dark clouds cover the horizon, the sun peaks through for a moment in such a way that it illuminates the water, but leaves the sky dark. The water shimmers and dances in dramatic contrast to the darkened sky and the expected reds and oranges of sunset are replaced by beautifully subtle blues and greens. For me, these ‘inversions of the expected’ bring about a sense of calmness and serenity that I just love.

Last year, a great big happy light bulb went off in my head! Because compositional synthesis influences my techniques, I often study electronic composers and their work. I was researching Jean Michel Jarré — a giant in the field of ambient music — and listened to some of his recent compositions. In these Jarré includes voice and lyric and employs a type of synthesis that allows him to manipulate voice through an extremely wide tonal range. In several of these compositions he begins with voice in its natural state and through the course of the piece seamlessly and beautifully transforms it into a highly synthesized instrument.

Adding voice and lyric to electronic music is nothing new, but listening to the way Jarré employed the use of granular synthesis opened the door to how we could add Paula’s voice to my work. In other words, how we could integrate Paula’s focus on shape, contrast, and implied movement with my ambient landscapes.

So after 20 years of working together, Paula and I decided to intentionally collaborate on joint pieces. We developed a set of techniques modeled on the type of synthesis Jarré used and it led to the new collaborative pieces we are excited to show here for the first time.

Now, I would like to turn things over to Paula.

Thanks love.

Even though I have always worked with Dave in the studio and commented on his pieces, now I am present in the work. Like adding voice and lyric to instrumental composition, these collaborative works are familiar but sound distinct. The emphasis on color and texture remains; the perspective changes. Where Dave’s solo work might explore distant vistas, our collaborative work narrows the focus to things like the shore’s edge or the structure of trees.

Our piece called Let’s Dance illustrates the joy and freedom of our new collaboration.

Web Image of Let's Dance

Let’s Dance
(14.75 x 24 inches) Edition of 6 © Tilton + Oeler

We created a more representational view of Moonlight Bay as seen from Toft’s Point and added something completely unexpected: a dancing tree that is neither abstract nor realistic — and we thought, wow, this is fun.

This anthropomorphism — thinking of things like trees as people — is apparent in some of our other works. One of these is Dedicated Followers of Fashion where fall color is treated as a fashion statement or, as Abigail from the Pulse recently said, “oh, you gave clothes to the trees.” [Read Abigail’s story, Sounds into Landscapes, in the Peninsula Pulse.]

Web Image of Dedicated Followers of Fashion

Dedicated Followers of Fashion
(12 x 15 inches) Edition of 6 © Tilton + Oeler

Dave and I like to think of landscapes as having life and emotion. We are influenced by the ever-changing nature and beauty of Door County and, as artists with backgrounds in geography, we seek to celebrate the essence of land, water, and sky.

We’re having a blast creating this new work and it is truly a joy to be here at Edgewood. Thank you.