Vocal Apparatus

Drawing of a woman with a bird in her mouth

I’ve been reading Hajo Duchting’s Paul Klee: Painting Music, a book my wife gave me as an early birthday present. I made this drawing before I started the book, but the relationship between visual art, music, and music-making is one I return to often, as Klee did. He was more of a theorist than I am. We share a birthday.

Here I was thinking of the songbird as an emblem of the human impulse to make songs. Whenever I start to think in figurative terms, trying to fit an image to an idea–especially an idea that is essentially linguistic in origin–a certain literal-mindedness takes over. It’s an act of rebellion, I think.

I drew, as I often do, with an ink pen on paper, then scanned the drawing into my computer and “painted” it in Photoshop.

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