Jamie xx was commissioned to create a composition for the National Gallery’s new Soundscapes exhibition, which opens tomorrow in London. The aim of the exhibit is to “encourage visitors to ‘hear’ the paintings and ‘see’ the sound.” Each artist got to pick a piece to go along with their composition, and Jamei xx chose Théo van Rysselberghe’s 1892-ish pointillist painting Coastal Scene as inspiration for his own, which is called “Ultramarine.”
According to DIY, his sound installation changes volume and texture depending on where you’re positioned in the room as you look at the painting. The magazine has some photos of the exhibition if you’re interested in seeing how it’s being framed.
DIY seemed relatively content with the piece, but The Guardian has a different impression: “Jamie xx and friends make pointless soundtracks for paintings” is their review headline, and it doesn’t get much nicer from there. The reviewer admits that “the music suits it well” but argues that “you can do it yourself on Youtube.”
Judge for yourself: The Soundscape exhibition runs from 7/8 through 9/6.