The music of Terence Blanchard is deeply visual

The Artistry of… Terence Blanchard

When I was a young child, someone bought me a kaleidoscope from the bookshop at a museum. I don’t remember who it was, but they seemed to know that it was going to be a very special something to me. In the days before the Internet, it was so much more than a toy. Looking through the lens, the display of colours and shapes and changing designs as I moved it around was tantalizing entertainment for the eye and imagination.

Music does this for me in a synesthetic way: shapes, colours and designs in sound all coming together as a singular experience. Terence Blanchard plays the trumpet with the sensibilities of seemingly endless changes of shapes, colours and designs.

It is as if he sets out to cajole you into taking a look inside, and that’s when the adventures begin. The ear rides the notes as they revolve and take on evolving contours and forms, all heading in the same direction but playing with how they get to where they are going. They’re launched with a kind of liberty, a freedom to make their own way granted by the artistry and direction of Blachard with his horn. Fashioning, carving, and casting, he is a visual musical artist and the canvas is ever so very much beautiful.



About The Artistry of…

The Artistry of… is a weekly series that reflects on the passion and essence of an artist. It airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish, made possible with the support of Yamaha Canada.


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