Project Will Highlight Frank Lloyd Wright's Musical Inspiration
Hidden within the famed architect's biographies is the inspiration behind his stunning work. Through music, an Oak Park scholar hopes to tell the untold tale.
Video via Kickstarter
Update: Days before the Aug. 24 deadline, Patterson reached his $6,000 goal to fund the project! Congrats!
Frank Lloyd Wright began many of his architectural renderings with a basic grid system, not unlike a blank sheet of musical staff paper.
"Equal units of time in music," says Wright scholar David Patterson, "and equal units of space in architecture. I think that the expressiveness of Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings is very musical. His idea for compressing a space, really sort of pushing you through a hallway and into a larger a room, is like the motion of going through the phrase of a melody."
Patterson, 50, hopes to explore the connection between music and architecture with a new project, one that tells the untold tale of William Carey Wright, Frank's father and a Renaissance man — Patterson said the elder Wright was a minister, attorney, doctor and a musician with decades of composition experience.
Many of the William Wright's compositions remain in bits and pieces, buried in various archives and collections across the country, including the Library of Congress, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin and the State Historical Society of Iowa.
Patterson, a Wright-buff who's served as docent at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio for more than 200 tours (he's currently giving tours at Unity Temple), has unearthed those compositions and hopes to bring them to vivid, musical life.
His project, called "Frank Lloyd Wright's Musical Origins: The Music of William Carey Wright," aims to record for the first time the actual compositions of William Wright. Here's Patterson on his page's Kickstarter campaign:
Using professional musicians from the Chicago area and Eloquent Sound studios of Oak Park, this project will result in a full-length CD that, in conjunction with its liner notes essay, will ultimately paint a portrait of William Carey Wright in both words and music, giving us a fresh perspective not only on Frank Lloyd Wright's upbringing, but on the father whose musical mind was so essential to Frank's later approach to architecture.
Speaking of the Kickstarter campaign, Patterson is more than halfway to his $6,000 goal. As of this writing, $3,915 has been raised before the Aug. 24 deadline, most of it donated by local musicians, architects, historians and fellow Wright fans.
And it's in that space where Patterson hopes to make his mark.
"Everybody who does research would like it to have some wide-reaching implications," he said. "I want to make sure this project is not just attractive to musicians but also the people interested in architectural history."