Music in the Garden

Music and gardens have a long and happy connection—the  art of one inspiring the art of the other. Paintings spring to mind initially since many artists have set their subjects listening to music in gardens. Manet’s famous Music in the Tuileries Gardens (1862), is one.  

It turns out, paintings are merely the tip of the iceberg when thinking of music and gardens together.  There are many iterations of the theme.

Sometimes gardens inspire music. A wander through YouTube offerings uncovered a light classical piece composed in 1915 by Albert Ketèlbey after he visited a monastery garden. If you listen you will discover it is whistled, but that feels entirely in keeping with the setting.

(As an aside some claim that music, or at least the vibrations, inspires plants to grow.  A British gardening commentator supports playing the music of Black Sabbath, noting that the blasting rock pushes the plants into growing while the soft dulcet tones of Cliff Richard puts them to sleep! )

Unsurprisingly, others view their personal gardens as visual music.  Anne Sheldon, played cello professionally for more than 20 years and believes music and a garden flow in similar ways. A song's introduction corresponds to the path leading into a garden, a musical bridge takes a listener to the next section of a piece and like a refrain, repetition in the garden unites different elements into a whole.

There is also the Toronto Music Garden, its creation inspired by Bach.

So, even with a little thought, the deeper you get into thinking about music and gardens together, the more complicated it seems to get. Take, for instance, quotes about power of music.  

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

Were it not for music, we might in these days say, the Beautiful is dead. ~Benjamin Disraeli

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. ~Ludwig van Beethoven

Substitute gardens for the word music and the truth of the remark remains.

All this to say, individually both art and gardens are a joy and even more so when they come together. You can enjoy them both in the Dunn, July 17, when noted songwriter and singer, LeRoy Bell and his Only Friends appear at a concert in the Gardens. Check out the details at Music on the Lawn featuring Leroy Bell and His Only Friends

When you are listening to the talented R & B artist, you will believe Friedrich Nietzsche, with apologies for the addition to his quote: Without music/gardens life would be a mistake. 




















LeRoy Bell - Jen Brooks Photo[1]_1