By Carli Mandel

On the evening of November 1, the David Owsley Museum of Art was filled with beautiful, contemporary music for Music in the Museum, as composed and performed by Ball State School of Music’s talented composers and musicians.  DOMA welcomed the New Music Ensemble to present unique compositions inspired by works of art in DOMA’s collection, and the evening proved to be a beautiful collaboration of the arts, both auditory and visual.

1Musicians from the School of Music Ensemble performing in the Sculpture Court

As the program assistant here at DOMA, I tend to work most museum events in order to ensure their smooth operation and success.  I was particularly excited to be able to have the chance to oversee the Music in the Museum event due to my personal love of classical music and, obviously, the wonderful works of art we house here in DOMA’s own collection.  The event ended up far exceeding what I had originally envisioned it to be, and proved to be a lovely evening of music, relaxation, and lively conversation.  The event began with a light reception outside of Recital Hall in the Margaret Ball Petty corridor from 5:30–6pm, with a bevy of pleasant light snacks and delicious apple cider.  The concert commenced at 6pm in the DOMA Sculpture Court.

2Guests, musicians, and composers converse amid snacks and refreshments

The music was prefaced by a brief introduction from School of Music directors Amelia Kaplan and Chin Ting Chan, and was then followed by 12 compositional performances inspired by such works as Henri Le Sidaner’s Pont de Clisson-Claire de Lune, the Amidha Buddha, Stella Snead’s Advancing Monuments, and Lee Krasner’s Right Bird Left in DOMA’s collection.  The works were all relatively short in length, between 1–3 minutes each, and served as creative musical impressions of what each piece inspired, represented, and made one personally feel upon observing them.  That being said, many of the compositions really opened my eyes as to how they make each person individually feel, and truly made me reevaluate works I’ve seen countless times with a newfound appreciation and artistic outlook.

While not a frequent event at DOMA, Music in the Museum usually occurs every year or so.  I truly hope that the collaboration between the David Owsley Museum of Art and the Ball State School of Music will continue for years to come, so that all students and Muncie community members, at some point, get the chance to experience Music in the Museum.  More than anything, this event was a unique experience that allowed myself and others to bridge the gap between the visual arts and the senses, helping one to make connections between what we see, feel, imagine, create, and ultimately hear.  For a singular event such as this to be able to inspire sensory connections and allow for deeper critical thinking is an amazing feat to me, and will hopefully continue to strengthen the bond between Muncie community members and the fine arts for years to come.

3Over 100 visitors enjoyed performances in the Sculpture Court, with many seated on the balcony