Art School Teacher: Astral Weeks Class

An hour before class have no idea what to do for class.  Listen to Astral Weeks to make yourself feel better.  Decide to have an Astral Weeks class.

Roll out a giant piece of paper on the floor.

Hand out black markers.  Demonstrate how to hold the marker with a very loose grip.

Practice allowing the arm to move freely.  Practice letting the capped pen flow across the paper.

With uncapped pen, play title song from Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks" (loud).  Practice keeping the arm loose while making lines to the music.

Be free.

Play Astral Weeks again, this time decorating the page with the lyrics.

Hear the shiest student suggest we use a different color for the words.  Have a brief inspiration to stop everything and run to get different colored markers, but reason that it's best to not break the momentum, and then regret it the whole song, imaging how great the words would look in red.

After the song is over wonder aloud, "Should we color it?"

Be surprised by the resounding, "Yes!"

Find a bucket of colored pencils, markers, crayons.

Read aloud the first paragraphs of "Astral Weeks" on Wiki while the students color.

recorded in two evenings
without song sheets
by musicians who had never played together
one of the most influential and unique albums
of linked song cycles
with virtuosic vocals
impressionistic, modernistic
madame george and cypress avenue
written as stream of consciousness
improvised accompaniment

Play the full album.  


Make new compositions by photographing details.

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