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Art and Music at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In parallel with the BSO’s “Music for the Senses” programming, Boston’s MFA (visit the museum at 465 Huntington Ave) compiled images related to music or sharing inspiration with the pieces being performed.

The Jackson Pollock painting "Troubled Queen"
Jackson Pollock, Troubled Queen, 1945. Oil and alkyd (synthetic paint) on canvas. Pollock was at a transitional point in his career when he painted Troubled Queen, abandoning his early figurative style and developing the slashing, dripped abstractions for which he is best known. Here, two agitated mask-like faces peer through skeins of paint, trapped in a tense composition of jagged lines and acid colors. The turbulence reflects not only Pollock’s deliberate manifestation of his personal psychological state, but also the fragmentation and violence of a world riven by war. Cambridge-based composer Marti Epstein, who is profoundly influenced by visual art, wrote her chamber-ensemble piece Troubled Queen as a response to Pollock’s dynamic painting. Callithumpian Consort plays Epstein's piece on the special "Music for the Senses" performance on April 10, 2024. (Charles H. Bayley Picture and Painting Fund and Museum purchase with funds by exchange from the Gift of Mrs. Albert J. Beveridge and the Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection / Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Photo of a Javanese fiddle, or rebab byur
Fiddle (rebab byur), mid‑19th century. Teak, ivory, buffalo bladder. The Javanese rebab is classified as a spike fiddle because the neck structure completely pierces the coconut body, emerging at the lower end. The rebab is the melodic leader in a gamelan ensemble, its fluid, voice-like sound most fully developing the music's tune. The thin, brass strings are touched by the fingers, but they are not pressed to a fingerboard, thus permitting sensitive and emotional shading of pitch. Rather than using a mechanical device, the player tightens the bow hair with his fingers. (Frank B. Bemis Fund / Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)