Key colour and diatonic scales are anthropomorphized as a peacock, hare, kingfisher, or cat, combining J.S. Bach’s landmark of musical pedagogy, Das Wohltemperierte Klavier (The Well-Tempered Clavier) with illustrations by 19th century French artist J.J. Grandville. This piece is from An Anthology of Familiar Tones, which questions what it means to be ‘in tune’. Through sculptural and video works, the anthology explores the feedback loop of Western musical temperament as it was simultaneously informed by and determined an industrialized standard of tonality, embodied knowledge, discipline of practice, and musical technology.

This video was also exhibited as an installation, with the image projected into a musical exercise notebook with the sound playing through an elaborate white costume wig worn by the viewer.

Running Time: 4:20
Digital video animation, collage, ink, paper
B/W (some colour), sound
Aspect Ratio: 720 x 480

Voice: Maxine Willan

Canada, 2008
serena lee
To Master Any Song In Any Key