Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A picture book has expanded my musical tastes

On my Facebook profile, I confessed my distaste for classical music. And because my next picture book deals with two jazz music icons, I didn't confess my distaste for jazz, too. But after today, I may need to revise my profile.

For preparation and research on Ellington/Strayhorn, a picture book I'm illustrating for Charlesbridge, I went to to the library and checked out Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. I also downloaded Ellington's Three Suites. I was reluctant to listen to either. But I ended up enjoying both. A lot! I was actually familiar with most of the Tchaikovsky tunes. Can you believe, I went jogging to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, when normally, I'm more of a Bootzilla kind of brotha.

I also checked out several copies of E.T.A Hoffman's Nutcracker, retold and illustrated by various authors and illustrators. I was surprised to discover so many versions — from frightfully dark to playfully lighthearted. I liked the lighthearted versions better.

I'm gonna have so much fun illustrating this book. It'll be almost like creating a Black, Cotton Club-ish version of the Nutcracker.


indigene said...

Oh for shame! I'm so glad you're expanding your musical appreciation! Classical music and jazz are my all time favorites! Some lyrics have a way of disturbing the music and jazz and classical are away for me to work on my art as well! Welcome to the fold!

rindawriter said...

I love jazz, love the improvisation.