I AM MUSIC, illuminated by Hamish Douglas Burgess in 2017.
Signed and numbered Limited Edition Giclée print of 300 on water-colour paper, in 2 sizes: 12 x 18 inches, and 24 x 36 inches, plus both have a white unprinted border.
Original Celtic art, a print from the original painting, which used acrylics on stained watercolour paper at 24″ x 36″. Anne Millar asked Hamish if he could illuminate this poem by Allan C. Inman, in the style of the Book of Kells, for her husband George Millar, founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for his birthday in April 2017. The piece took 250 hours drawing and painting the hand-drawn letters, and is illuminated based on some designs in the Book of Kells, and the Lindisfarne Gospels, as well as Hamish’s original Celtic art.
- The “I” is topped with George’s Irish red setter dogs. The column features ancient musical instruments and musicians. A harpist, lute or mandolin player, a bagpiper (actually Hamish in his Douglas kilt), and a bodhran player. A single silver music note threads down from the top, through all the figures, making a G-clef by the piper, and ending in a double note at the bottom. Traditional spirals in reds and gold finish the letter.
- The “A” of “Am” features young George at the top, looking down in wonder at the musicians……or is it the girl playing the harp? The right side of the “A” is George’s body and legs, and the left side is a dragon-like creature. The colours represent George’s old home and birth country of Ireland.
- The “m” of “Am” features deer-like creatures, often seen wandering the streets near George’s home on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada. What appears below, to be a beast’s head with horns, is in fact two beasts’ heads and long bodies, after the style of ancient horns called Carnyx.
- The “M” of ‘Music’ features dogs in the style of the Lindisfarne Gospels, with traditional spirals and single-strand knotwork below.
- The “u” of ‘Music’ features two colourful birds with their necks entwined, and their feet interlacing with their tail feathers.
- The “s” of ‘Music’ features the entire body of a cat-like creature, appearing to be interested in the birds nearby.
- The “i” of ‘Music’ features serpents or lizards, entwined with knotwork.
- The “c” of ‘Music’ features another cat, showing great interest in two entwined fish. The cat’s ear turns into single-strand knotwork below.
The text is illuminated with each new idea starting with a coloured capital, and interspersed with images to illustrate the words, such as ‘wind’, ‘waves’ and ‘beasts’. The beasts are a dog from the Lindisfarne Gospels, chasing a cat or lion, which is in turn chasing a peacock, both from the Book of Kells.
The amazing words about music are by Allan C. Inman (1887-1975), who lived in Fitchburg, Worcester County, Massachusetts, US. On the front page of the Fitchburg Sentinel on October 4th 1960, is an article on Allan C. Inman, entitled: “Essay Earns City Man U.S. Citation.”
“The reason for these 20 years of quiet recognition for Mr.Inman is entitled “I Am Music.” An essay written over 20 years ago by this man whose greatest desire in life is to have some of his literary efforts published.
He sent “I Am Music” to various publications only to have rejection slips in the return mail. Then Mr.Inman sent it to the National Assn. of Music Merchants, Inc., and told them to use it as they saw fit.
Since that time “I Am Music” has been used over and over. A million copies have been printed and distributed, it has been used on huge posters for music store advertising, it has been printed on music programs from high school graduations to symphony concerts.
There have never been any royalties from the essay. Mr.Inman gave it in hopes that it would be enjoyed. It is very evident from reading the letters, cards and telegrams in Mr.Inman’s scrapbook that it has thrilled many.”
All prints signed and numbered by the artist in pencil at the bottom. The print you receive will not have the artist’s name across it, as in the photo. That is for internet viewing only.
Aloha and mahalo for looking.