‘Composition XIV’ by Piet Mondriaan

No 3 from the Impressions series commissioned by the Van Abbemuseum.

View the original painting here.

How can music articulate the essence of abstract painting?

Compositie XIV by Piet Mondriaan captures his style in a phase of transition. In search of his artistic identity, Mondriaan makes a clear reference to cubism with its volumetric geometry and varied, sophisticated colours. However, not depicting even a part of any recognizable object, he steps into the territory of pure abstraction – his future credo. Such artwork, with no explicit narration or dramaturgy, poses an interesting challenge when creating a musical reflection, that Sachit dares to accept. In his letter to the Dutch painter H.P. Bremmer Mondriaan mentions that his works bring vertical and horizontal lines together with other forms “to harmony and rhythm”. Indeed, the texture of Compositie XIV with its repetitive rectangular coloured shapes framed with black lines suggests a rhythmic impulse. The consciously limited, but still rich palette of gentle warm yellow-browns as well as soft greys directs Sachit to the usage of colourful instrument timbres. A sense of immersion without clearly defined edges, following the flow of rhythms and sounds without a clear goal and destination – this is what Sachit suggests in his musical response.

Text: Asja Zakhareva, Sachit Ajmani

Composer: Sachit Ajmani

Performers: Heiður Lára Bjarnadóttir (cello), Chelsea Balmer (harp), Francesco Bellomo (percussion)

Project curation: Asja Zakhareva

Studio and recording assistance provided by Louis van Eeten and Conservatorium Maastricht.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get my occasional newsletter?