The Island of Milonga
About the Painting
24 X 18, Watercolor, Colored Pencil, Pen & Ink on Watercolor Paper
This is the first in a series of paintings depicting the islands and adventures in my work Archipelago for Guitar. Each of the main paintings is inspired in some way by a piece of music that I write and perform, and will eventually record.
Milonga is where the hero of the story grew up. It’s part of the Edgesea Archipelago, which is situated in a universe tuned to a slightly different key and tempo than ours. This universe is very much like ours, but in it Music and Inspiration are forces of nature along with Gravity and Electromagnetism.
I’ll let the particle physicists worry about how Music and Inspiration interact with the Strong & Weak nuclear forces.
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A Video Tour of the Island of Milonga
Detail 1 (Click to enlarge)
The guitar is a most popular and revered instrument on Milonga, and is intimately associated with the development of the island’s culture over hundreds of years. Guitar motifs show up in the architecture, especially in the churches, as seen in the famous Milonga Cathedral tower that is constructed of four interlocking guitars. Instead of bells in the tower, a set of 60-foot-long guitar strings, fretted by a series of complex gears connected to a keyboard, fill the town with deep, luscious chords and melodies that use the cathedral’s guitar-like structure as its resonating body.
Island 1: Milonga (Characteristic Music from this Island)
Each musical Island in the Archipelago has a musical counterpart composed for the guitar and performed by yours truly. Here’s a live performance of Island 1, Milonga.
Detail 2: (Click to enlarge)
Musical notation—-similar to the kinds of notation in our universe—-is a common architectural trope on Milonga. Forms suggestive of music also figure strongly in the design of ships and boats, which must be able to harness musical winds and currents in addition to “regular” wind. Some of the smaller boats in the harbor are propelled entirely by the playing of music. The fermata on top of the lighthouse serves to stabilize the musically sensitive craft as they come into harbor, and is the best way to provide a far-reaching signal at night or during a storm.