Julie Blackmon's 'Hilltop' // 'The Plow that Broke the Plains - Prelude' by Virgil Thomson
When looking at Julie Blackmon’s “Hilltop,” notice the elements that are in motion: the grass on the hill, the woman’s hair in the wind, the dog scampering ahead. You can almost feel the brisk autumn wind through the photograph as the trio of the woman, dog, and child travel across the hilltop.
Composer Virgil Thomson - born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1896 - wrote “The Plow that Broke the Plains” as the score to a 1936 Pare Lorentz documentary of the same name. As you listen, pay attention to the wind instruments, their sounds being full and round, with the strings echoing. Note how these sounds evoke the crests and valleys of the prairie landscape and of prairie life.
Want to explore more music inspired by Julie Blackmon's art? Listen to our Spotify playlist for full pieces.
Find more information about 'Julie Blackmon: A Life in Frame' on the Kemper's website.
You can find out more about Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art at kemperart.org.
View the full Kemper Museum Permanent Collection here.