My first encounter with pianist David Miller was from the depths of the bass section of Sydney’s Taverner Consort of Voices in a suburban church hall in the early nineties.
He was attacking a torrid passage when one or two ivories – possibly stuck down specially for the occasion – came flying off the piano’s keys and clattered to the hardwood floor. But he was unfazed, leaning forward, eyes glued to the score, with a half-smile, equal parts concentration and joy. It was as though the disintegration of the piano was half-expected, almost necessary, in order to magnify the thrill.
[Harmonious proportions] arouse, deep within us and beyond our sense, a resonance, a sort of sounding board which begins to vibrate. An indefinable trace of the Absolute which lies in the depth of our being. This sounding board which vibrates in us is our criterion of harmony. This is indeed the axis on which man is organised in perfect accord with nature and probably with the universe.
My solo exhibition Yunta Landscapes happened only four months ago, but it feels like another age. It’s as though we’ve all passed through the eye of a needle since then. Or a cyclone. Priorities upended. Only now does it feel like the dust is settling and we’re venturing out to survey the damage.
A few minutes into our conversation, Nate Gilkes gives me a solid-gold clue as to what drives his artmaking.
“I was playing second violin in the school orchestra. It was Shostakovich’s String Symphony. It was extremely dissonant, there were these long string sounds – the strings around me, my own violin, even the bow – the sounds went right into my body. Something awakened in me. I was emotional for days after.”
Welcome to Artists on Art— the space for conversations on creativity!
Launch day has arrived!
Artists On Art grew out of my interest in understanding how artists really tick. I am curious about what motivates artists to create day after day, and what they consider to be the source of their inspiration.
I want to get closer to the nub of how individuals approach creativity. What is it to be an artist? Why does it even matter?