For this guided listening, you will need the following:

A copy of these teaching steps
Text asset: Steven Gellman, Deux Tapisseries
Audio assets: Excerpts I and II of Deux Tapisseries by Steven Gellman
paper and drawing tools

Audio excerpts and textual information are provided below the Guided Listening.

I. Listen and Draw
• Distribute large sheets of paper and a variety of coloured pencils, crayons, or pastels. Make a crease down the middle of the page.
• Listen to Excerpt I from Deux Tapisseries by Steven Gellman. What instruments stand out for you? What can you identify?
• Listen again and focus on one single instrument line (e.g., the flute). As you listen, draw its melodic contour.
• Listen again. Choose a different instrument to listen for and draw its melodic contour using a different colour.
• Listen once more, choosing a different ins Read More
For this guided listening, you will need the following:

A copy of these teaching steps
Text asset: Steven Gellman, Deux Tapisseries
Audio assets: Excerpts I and II of Deux Tapisseries by Steven Gellman
paper and drawing tools

Audio excerpts and textual information are provided below the Guided Listening.

I. Listen and Draw
• Distribute large sheets of paper and a variety of coloured pencils, crayons, or pastels. Make a crease down the middle of the page.
• Listen to Excerpt I from Deux Tapisseries by Steven Gellman. What instruments stand out for you? What can you identify?
• Listen again and focus on one single instrument line (e.g., the flute). As you listen, draw its melodic contour.
• Listen again. Choose a different instrument to listen for and draw its melodic contour using a different colour.
• Listen once more, choosing a different instrument and drawing its contour with a different colour.
• Ask: What do you notice about your lines? Are there any points of intersection? Are any of the lines similar? How would describe the lines; e.g. wavy, straight, curved, thick, thin…?
• Repeat the exercise with Excerpt II from Deux Tapisseries by Steven Gellman, using the other half of the paper.

II. Discuss
• In groups of four, share the drawings made. How would you describe your drawings? Do any of them look like they are woven?
• Read the background information about Deux Tapisseries. What are the titles of the two sections in the work? (Twilight Tapestry and Lightning Tapestry).
• Look at your drawings again. Can you see ‘twilight’ or ‘lightning’ in your drawings? What in the music reflected these titles?
• Confirm that Excerpt I was from Gellman’s Twilight section and Excerpt II was from Lightening Tapestry.
• Reflect on Gellman’s words: “these musical pieces depict interior visions”. What ‘visions’ did you see when listening to his works?

© 2010, National Arts Centre. All Rights Reserved.

Gellman, born in Toronto in 1947, was writing music at the early age of 9, and began comprehensive studies in theory, composition and piano two years later. By the time he was 15, Gellman had performed his own piano concerto with the CBC Symphony Orchestra. His studies in composition continued through 1973-6, when Gellman worked with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatory. Since returning to Canada in 1976, Gellman has been a professor at the University of Ottawa.

Deux Tapisseries was commissioned by the Government of France to honour the 70th birthday of Gellman’s mentor, Messiaen. It was originally scored for an orchestral ensemble: 5 woodwinds, 5 brass, harp, piano/celestra, 2 percussion players and double bass. In 1980, Gellman orchestrated the work for full orchestra, and Deux Tapisseries was premiered in Canada by the National Arts Centre Orchestra with Mario Bernardi conducting. The two movements are: Tapisserie de Crepiscule/Twilight Tapestry and Tapisserie d’éclair/Lightning Tapestry. Both pieces are composed by weaving together musical rhythms, harmonie Read More
Gellman, born in Toronto in 1947, was writing music at the early age of 9, and began comprehensive studies in theory, composition and piano two years later. By the time he was 15, Gellman had performed his own piano concerto with the CBC Symphony Orchestra. His studies in composition continued through 1973-6, when Gellman worked with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatory. Since returning to Canada in 1976, Gellman has been a professor at the University of Ottawa.

Deux Tapisseries was commissioned by the Government of France to honour the 70th birthday of Gellman’s mentor, Messiaen. It was originally scored for an orchestral ensemble: 5 woodwinds, 5 brass, harp, piano/celestra, 2 percussion players and double bass. In 1980, Gellman orchestrated the work for full orchestra, and Deux Tapisseries was premiered in Canada by the National Arts Centre Orchestra with Mario Bernardi conducting. The two movements are: Tapisserie de Crepiscule/Twilight Tapestry and Tapisserie d’éclair/Lightning Tapestry. Both pieces are composed by weaving together musical rhythms, harmonies, motifs, to depict a ‘mindscape’ much as a visual tapestry has been woven to create a visual ‘landscape’.

© 2010, National Arts Centre. All Rights Reserved.

An excerpt from Deux Tapisseries by Steven Gellman (3:00-4:55).

Steven Gellman

© 1980, Steven Gellman.


An excerpt from Deux Tapisseries by Steven Gellman (11:00-12:50).

Steven Gellman

© 1980, Steven Gellman.


Learning Objectives

Visually Inspired! is designed for students and educators to meet the following objectives:

• Examine the role of music in connecting what we see to what we hear
• Explore the strategies composers use to create music inspired by visual images
• Compose a piece of music inspired by an artwork, or create a piece of artwork inspired by music

The collection begins with a series of listening exercises, each based on a Canadian composition inspired by a visual image.

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