The minstrel knows the songs and stories of his culture and he performs them for the people of his city. One day, he travels into the woods. Surrounded only by the natural world, the minstrel sees its sacredness. The fruit trees fed him and the wind teaches him a new song. He sings to nature and to the sky. The wind, sun, fishes, birds and animals come to listen.
Minstrels are an archetype. We find stories of them throughout ages and across cultures, as in the stories of Orpheus, King David, and Saint Francis of Assisi. There are many folk songs remembering the minstrels whose music would touch all of nature and create almost magical responses to it. I wanted to portray the magic that musicians bring us and how they enrich the lives of others.
The ideas are also found in the “Serenade to Music” in Act V, Scene I of The Merchant of Venice. Lorenzo speaks of the harmonies that are created by movement of the stars:
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
Or any air of music touch their ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
Their savage eyes turn’d to a modest gaze
By the sweeet power of music: therefore the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones and floods;
Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage,
But music for the time doth change his nature.
While the Minstrel is no longer formally available, the Studio retains one print from the edition, framed and on display in our office. In the lower left corner, you can see a record of each color printed, still displayed in a cutout through the matte. If you are interested in the print, please let us know and we will be glad to make it available for you to view.