Widgets Magazine
Student creates stunning art from music, images
A still from "Shine," the stirring multimedia piece by Cameron Steinfeld '18. (Courtesy of the Artist)

Student creates stunning art from music, images

A friend of mine, Cameron Steinfeld ‘18, recently created something that I really like, so much so that I don’t know how I feel about trying to understand it. The piece is a video, essentially an imagist interpretation of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”

Best described as a translation of the song through color, it’s a completely abstract incarnation of the melody’s tension and saunter. Moving through various portraits, the colors twist and fumble, gush and dance to the weight of the song. Moving with the viscosity of emotion, aching, melting, they become wholly immersive visions of the music. Somehow, song and color seem to speak clearly to each other, mirroring one another with an utterly satisfying, wordless exactness. Living in the unanchored world of aesthetics, free of the chains of explanation, we as an audience are able to feel everything that we cannot hold, everything that we cannot voice.

The video, which can be found on Steinfeld’s Vimeo account, works as a cunning example of the link between color and sound, two non-languages that somehow say more than anything sayable. The images and the music are held together by sinews of a rare sort of emotion. This is a feeling that cannot speak for itself but must instead be incarnated through various forms of artistic expression. We feel so unbearably much in art as it washes us in the broth of our own insides. But this precise mode of feeling, this untouchable evocation, carries with it an unalienable aloneness.You can express what you feel, but in summoning its truth, will anyone be able to understand it? “I feel orange today.” And that is exactly what I mean.

It seems that we must always fight the war between expression and communication, balancing a will to accurately express an exact hue or texture of emotion along with a need to feel understood by the ever-elusive “other.” All we are ever doing is translating, trying to turn the inside out. And in trying so desperately to be understood, we realize our own inescapable isolation. It is the fundamental crisis of language. And here I am again, talking to a white page.

All I really want to say is, watch it. Listen to its feeling, its taste, its violent grace.


Contact Tess Michaelson at tess18 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Tess Michaelson

Tess Michaelson covers R&B and alternative music for the Arts & Life section of the Stanford Daily. She is an undeclared sophomore from Portland, Oregon on the track and field team with interests in English, philosophy, and music. She enjoys playing with dogs, dancing, traveling, and talking in strange voices. Contact her at tess18 'at' stanford.edu.