Musical Mosaics

Interactive performances are welcoming and fun experiences I design for listeners to be creative, develop their innate connection with music, and explore self-expression through art. Musical Mosaics guides the audience to explore their connection with music and other people through colors they hear in works by Alfred Casella, Shulamit Ran, and Roland Revell.

This performance has both communal and individual activities for the audience to participate in. For the communal mosaics, the audience will start by coloring small pieces of paper based on their individual experience listening to a pieces. After the piece, I will bring out a large poster board that has a black and white image representing part of my interpretation of the piece. Then, the audience will collectively create an art mosaic by attaching their small colored pieces of paper to the black portion of the drawing wherever they see fit. Once finished, this mosaic will represent the communal experience of the music by both the audience and the performer. The audience will create three mosaics in this recital. For the final piece, each audience member will create three of their own drawings in a small paper book that they will be able to take home as memories of their musical experience.

Session Outline

Alfredo Casella, Barcarola e Scherzo
Part 1
    - While listening, audience creates colored shapes during the performance based on what they hear.
Part 2
    - All audience members place their colored shapes on the posters with simple outlines of images.
    - Gondola shape for 1st mvt
    - Circular shape for 2nd mvt

Shulamit Ran, East Wind
Part 1
    - While listening, audience creates colored shapes during the performance based on
what they hear.
Part 2
    - All audience members place their colored shapes on the poster with a simple outline of an image.

Briefly discuss how we created three works of art together based on our shared musical experience. The shapes drawn on the poster are based on my experience of the piece as a performer. The colors are based on what the audience heard while listening. This is one way we can create as a community of listeners and performers.

Roland Revell, Trois Pensees Op. 23
  1. Je me demande.
  2. Je crois - j’en doute.
  3. Enfin!
    - While listening, each audience member will create art in little paper books based on what they hear. Everyone takes home their paper books as a memory of their musical experience.

Presenter Biography

James Brinkmann, the Innovative Flutist (IF), asks the question “what if...?” when searching for ways to use music to interact with and inspire people to be creative. As a teaching artist, he unites his passions for teaching and performing by creating interactive performances to strengthen audience's connection with music. He has performed three interactive concert series in Chicago, played in the Make Music Chicago Festival, and has been a guest artist with the University of Utah School of Music, Lakeview Orchestra, Atlanta Flute Club, Madison Flute Club, and the Southwest Michigan Symphony's Casual Classics Summer Series. Always striving to create new approaches to present classical music, he and oboist, Alli Gessner, recently co-created and performed (wigs and all!) “Concerto for Frenemies: an original comedic musical production of W.A. Mozart’s C/D Concertos for Flute and/or Oboe.” Also an explorer of interdisciplinary art projects, he presented his first visual art collection, “ ‘L’-evating Art: spontaneous collaborations connecting train passengers and a musician, art and music” at the Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC.

An enthusiastic teacher, James maintains a private studio in Chicago and is on faculty at the Merit School of Music, where he also served as woodwind department chair and presented his “Interactive Rhythm Flash Card” workshop. In the summer, he enjoys teaching as assistant faculty at the Northern California Flute Camp where students explore and develop their flute and music skills through a variety of activities, some of which include flute choirs, master classes, and chamber music. He recently published a method book, “The Scale Page,” for advancing beginner and intermediate flutists, and explored the beginner flutist’s perspective and how to be a more compassionate teacher in his Youtube series, “Left Hand Flute Project.”

An active chamber musician, he is a founding member of the Chi Flutes Quartet and a member of the CHAI Collaborative Ensemble. As an orchestral player, James has served as second flute in the Northbrook Symphony, principal flute in the Lakeview Orchestra where he also was a featured soloist on Carl Reinecke’s Concerto in D Major and J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, and has played with the New World Symphony. He has placed 2nd and 3rd in the National Flute Association Orchestral Excerpts Competition and is a two-time 3rd prize winner in the Donald Peck International Flute Competition. He received his Bachelor of Music summa cum laude at DePaul University, and his primary teachers are Lisa Byrnes, Mary Stolper, and Christina Smith.

James takes his flute almost everywhere with him and breaks down performer-audience barriers by performing in atypical settings. He has played on over a dozen commercial airline flights, in airports, coffee shops, in the subway, on the street, has started sing alongs on long-distance trains, and practices in the park near his home on a regular basis. All these impromptu performances often lead to joyful and inspiring conversations with the local residents and passersby.