Assembling Sounds for Sounds Assembling

 I’m a tour guide at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and I’m taking an online course from the Museum of Modern Art in New York called Art and Activity.  It introduces guides to activities they can do with children related to works of art. One of our assignments this week was to pretend we were disc jockeys. We had to come up with a collection of sounds to describe an art work and choose a soundtrack for it.  I used a piece from the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s collection called Sounds Assembling for my assignment.


It was created by Bertram Brooker. He moved to Portage la Prairie Manitoba in 1905 from England. He went on to manage a movie theatre in Neepawa, Manitoba. Later he became a prize-winning fiction writer, a journalist and the first Canadian artist to exhibit an abstract piece of art.

The first assignment for our class was to make a list of adjectives to describe our work of art and then come up with sounds that would go along with each adjective. Here’s part of my list. 

Swirling-kitchen blender

Flying- space ship beeping

Exploding- fireworks

Speeding- ambulance siren

Zig zaggy- lightening strike and thunder crash

Celebratory-  slot machine at a casino when you win

Colliding- two cars crashing

Next we had to pick music that could be a sound track for our art work. I picked two pieces of music to go with Sounds Assembling. One was the Star Wars Theme.

because the painting has sort of an alien lost in space kind of ambience for me

and the other was Hold Onto the Metal.

It is by  popular Winnipeg band Royal Canoe. Hold Onto The Metal has an abstract feel to it like Brooker’s painting and talks about things colliding.  I thought it was appropriate for Sounds Assembling because its creator Bertram Brooker studied with, and was inspired by Winnipeg artist Lionel Fitzgerald and Brooker worked as a journalist for the Winnipeg Free Press. Royal Canoe says the main inspiration for their music is their experience of living and working  in Winnipeg.

I enjoyed this assignment and can’t wait to try this activity with some of the students on tours at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. 

Other posts about art …….

Thanks to the Winnipeg Art Gallery I’m in Newsletter of the American Pre-Raphaelite Society 

Norman Rockwell

The Globalization of Art

Do You Recognize This Reid?

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Filed under Art, Canada, Winnipeg

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