Captivating People of Art Basel Miami Share Their Perspective on the Power of Music

“I have Synesthesia, so when I hear sound, I see patterns. The music actually comes from inside me, it's very visceral, and I feel the emotion,” said artist Lynx Alexander, who interprets what he hears into stunning visuals, using grand pianos as his canvases.  His clients send him a piece of music and a color palette and their piano is transformed into a piece of art. 

Lynx was one of 10 captivating people that we interviewed during Art Basel Miami, an amazing weekend event where the world's most brilliant artists converge to share their unique viewpoints through their respective artistic mediums.  It's a massive cultural celebration at the epicenter of contemporary art.  

To conduct our experiment, we asked everyone the same question: “How does sound or music have the ability to shift your mood or change your perspective?” Interestingly, while everyone lives in different cities and has unique backgrounds, their answers had one powerful commonality – they all related music and sound to powerful emotions.

“Music and sound are what drive me emotionally.  When you close your eyes, it can take you to the saddest and darkest places, but also the most magical, surreal, and deepest. It depends on where you're at.  It is the soundtrack of my life.” – Artist Milcho withheld her artwork from the public for five years until she found the perfect sounds to combine with the visuals. 

“Music completely shifts my mood.  I can be in a space, sitting down with no sounds, and when a beat starts, I can really feel it reverberating.  When I'm at a gig and someone plays music that i enjoy, I'm normally the first person on the dance floor.  Music makes the inside of my soul move and that just has to come out.” – Tracy Chemaly of Southern Guild Gallery sitting in “Fiona Blackflish” by Designer Porky Hefer. 

“I think that it's a human condition that we respond to sound and rhythm.  It brings joy to people whether they think they like music or care about it.  When you hear music it stirs something internally that we can't really control.  Some people can harness that better than others, but it's a natural phenomenon that exists between humans and sound.  It's an incredible thing.” – Founder of Design Gallery R & Company, Evan Snyderman, stands in front of “Afreaks,” an exhibit created by The Haas Brothers and The Haas sisters.

“Music is really important in my process. I work in a studio with a lot of loud machines for 10 to 12 hours a day.  The first thing I do is put on my headphones and they don't come off until my work day ends.  I'm always listening to music. I prefer low tempo electronic music which helps set the tone, rhythm and pace for my work. It also helps relax me.” – Wood Sculptor James McNabb explains how music plays a pivotal role in his artistic process. 

“Everybody moves with music. Music moves in the same way as our heartbeat, so depending on our sense of humor or emotions, music can have an influence to make you euphoric or to relax you. That is the essential part of music, it moves with your emotions.” – Marcelo Fernandez Lopez

“I am a dancer, so for me, music is something that lives naturally inside me. You have to be very in tune with your body.  It's all about feeling the flow.” – Dancer Diane Rosser explains how music is vital to her artistry.  

“Music is very emotional and has the power to move you. If I listen to music, I remember somewhere I've traveled or an amazing event that I've attended, and then I immediately have this flood flashback of what I experienced. Music is about discovery and there is an emotional sentiment attached to it.” – Quiana Smith

“Music and sound are all about vibration.  The energy that you put out changes everything around you. It'll make the flowers grow if you play it right. – King David, who was giving away free artwork.

“Music has an effect on the way we feel in an immediate sense but also in a long term sense too. We feel nostalgic about certain songs.  We think of a person or a time of our lives.  Sound is connected strongly with emotion.” – Luxury hat designer Gigi Burris presented her collection at the Vanity Fair Social Club event.

Our exploration of the art of sound led us next to an interactive installation created by The Lincoln Motor Company and Harmon Revel.  During Art Basel Miami week, Lincoln unveiled an interactive installation called the Sound of Luxury Pod, where they integrated uniquely composed soundscapes that were synchronized with stunning lights and visuals on huge immersive screens.

Visitors were invited to sit inside a 2016 Lincoln MKX, where they could experience the clear differences between “On Stage” and “Audience” mode in the vehicles's exclusive Revel audio system.  During “On Stage” mode, the music wraps around you as though you're part of the band, while “Audience” mode gives you the best seat in the house, like you're sitting front row at a concert.  Between sound and visuals, the experience within the pod aroused all of the senses.      

We asked Bill Wyman, VP at Harman, the same question we asked everyone else – “How does sound or music have the ability to shift your mood or change your perspective?” 

“There's an emotional connection to music,” he said. “When you hear one of your favorite songs, it does something to you.  It makes your body come alive the way that few others things can do.  And that's the goal for us.  As we're developing these systems and creating the best-in-class sound, we want to make sure that it has that emotional affect. Putting into the cabin of the Lincoln MKX every little detail of music, every lit bit of emotion that the artist wants to come through, is critically important. 

“More than anything else out there, music can change your mood, and put you in the right mind set for whatever you're about to tackle in life.  And that's the beauty of it.  That's why the folks here at Revel are so passionate about music, because it has that visceral effect on you.  And when it sounds right, there's no better experience.  It gives you goosebumps when you hear it.”

This post is sponsored by The Lincoln Motor Company.  The Feeling Stays with You.

Eugene Kim

Eugene Kim is the Editor-in-Chief of My Modern Met. In May, 2008, he co-founded the website to create one big city that celebrates creative ideas. His mission is to promote a positive culture by spotlighting the best sides of humanity—from the lighthearted and fun to the thought-provoking and enlightening.
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