Tia Vellani here. Since 2014 I've been using my passion for music, visual art, and science to invent new ways of making music and visual art; to discover the elements they share; and to create playable musical sculptures for towns and villages in Europe.
What's the secret behind our powerful love affair with music? Why are some melodies haunting, some rhythms irresistible, and some harmonies absolutely breathtaking? My work as a scientist taught me that sometimes the best way to understand something is by comparing it to something else. I believe an uncharted world inhabits the space between music and visual art. Curiosity, wonder, and the love of discovery have driven me to go exploring in that space. In playing with the elements of music and visual art I've begun to recognise the tools that musicians and visual artists use to build a story, draw listeners and viewers into it, and then take us on a journey into their minds.
My formal education is in science (Ph.D and postdoctoral research in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and genomics), and I worked in a lab for many years before switching to the arts. After leaving science, I created a studio workshop for jewellery design, which I maintained for nine years before starting my present cross-disciplinary arts practice. I've played music all my life, starting with classical piano at age 3, then adding concert flute, voice and West African percussion over the next few decades. Music, visual art and science have all contributed to my identity, and the 3 disciplines are fully integrated into my practice. My work reflects a truly authentic expression of my passions, core values, and ideology.
Works in Progress:
What is the Sound of One Heart Dancing?
A multi-media exploration of improvisational dance. Collaboration with Helen Walsh, Jennie Grangel, Eoin Coffey, and Sandra Mogensen. This project is possible because of generous support from Alternative Kilkenny Arts, TASK Kilkenny, and a grant from Arts & Disability Ireland. Scheduled for exhibition, July-August, 2020.
The Bells that Still can Ring
Multi-player chimes for the garden in the Kilkenny Hospital Auxiliary. Scheduled for completion, September 24, 2019.
Soft Pink Razor Wire
A set of 3 pieces of music that interpret Monica Dunne's painting, "Moment in Time," one of the pieces in the Sonic Notation project. Scheduled for completion, October 31, 2019.
Sonic Notation Orchestra
Collaboration with other musicians and visual artists where we interpret each others' work from music to visual art and back. As the project unfolds, we're noticing patterns we would never have noticed, finding new tools for expression, and adding more layers and meaning to our work. Ongoing.