<< -- 2 -- D C Ruiz FAIR GAME?
You are also an accomplished abstract painter. Did you always like Art? When
did you start painting?
In school, I never liked art class. I always thought it was a waste of time.
After I had worked in Top 40 bands a few years, I went to Boston to the Berklee
College of Music. This was 1985. I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in
Composition in two and half years. Unintentionally, I lived one block from the
Boston Museum of Fine Arts so I would often wander over there. Just before my
last year, I saw an exhibit at MIT of Alexander Calder' Mobiles. At the time,
I was writing music for large ensembles that emphasized texture, timbre and
rhythm over melody and harmony, very influenced by Penderecki and Ligeti. The
interplay of shapes moving in space reminded me of the graphic scores of twentieth
century music. Again, something just clicked inside of me. I wanted to learn
more about art and its relationship to music, so I enrolled in a drawing class
at the Boston Museum School. During my last year at Berklee, I was studying
music during the day and studying painting at night. Having a background in
music gave me a more of a jumpstart on painting and the composition of shapes, textures,
colors and lines, all elements of music as well, than a non-musician.
I know absolutely nothing about art or 'ART'. What is the relationship between
the visual arts and music?
Well, there is quite a lot if you look for it. Do you want to get into it?
Ahh ... No. What did you do after Berklee?
I got a partial scholarship to go to the Museum School. For a year, I went to
art school part-time and painted houses the rest of the time to make some money.
I didn't see the point in getting another degree, so I stayed in Boston playing
saxophone in Jazz groups and making paintings in my studio. I worked in various
art galleries to pay the bills and I started to get my work into exhibits around
Boston. After about five years, I decided to move to New York City to pursue a
Were you still writing music during this time?
No. For me, paintings were musical compositions without the need for musicians
to realize the ideas. During my last two years in Boston, I had stopped playing
music as well.
Paul Minotto, chief conductor of primeTime Sublime
So, you are in New York, making paintings, showing in galleries, etc ... how does
music come back?
I bought a computer. I wasn't interested in it so much as to how it might aid
in making paintings. I was intrigued by the sounds one could produce with it. I
wanted to take everything I learned as a painter and apply it to music. I
started writing again and eventually it won out over painting.
Copyright © 26 September 2003
D C Ruiz, USA