During the early part of summer 2008, I had the opportunity to watch an extraordinary Bravo Television documentary on the Sabian Company and its founder, Robert Zildjian. I was so astounded by the story behind the company as well as the Zildjian family's long and rich history of cymbal making that I was, literally, inspired to create in my medium, this symphony of textures.
I believe that texture is just as important to musical artists as it is visual artists. This sound wave is my attempt to communicate this notion to a wider public. In all my previous creations, recycled copper was my metal of choice. In this special project, I decided to integrate "new" recycled metals along with my usual copper. Specifically, I used scraps, pieces, shavings... etc, which have all come from one of the many stages of the company’s production process. Following is a complete description of the production process I use in my work along with photos of this particular work as it was being created.
I only met Mr. Zildjian once; however, it was plenty for me to understand that he was a man of unshakable character. Regrettably, he died May 29, 2013 at the age of 89.
1) After creating the layout, I begin sourcing of recycled copper as well as selecting brass from the company’s production process that would be suitable for the intended purpose. I try to find interesting shapes (profiles) of metals which will provide me inspiration.
2) I then strip, burn, clean, scrape, brush, straighten… in other words, this step is the most labor intensive part of the process. Once prepped, I end up with gleaming, straight pieces of metal that will be used in the following step.
3) Following the prep-work, I create a frame / form to accept the fresh concrete. Armed with previously drawn sketches, I immediately proceed to imbedding the metal pieces into the concrete while at the same time, shaping the metal and the concrete to create the desired shapes. I have a window of opportunity of approximately one hour to complete this step.
4) Once the concrete is cured, another labor intensive part needs to be performed. Using a heavy-duty brush and some sand for added abrasion, I clean the surface of the concrete and the embedded metal pieces to reveal their beauty.
5) The final and most fun step is the application of acrylic paint and sealer to protect the paint and keep the metal from oxidizing.
Close-ups of the finished work.