When literature, music, theatre and art are entwined together on the concert stage, our culture comes alive in unexpected and magical ways.

"Putting everything together like this, it was just Fabulous! I was blown away. —I don't know what to call it, but it was great."

We call this Vocal Canvas

In a Vocal Canvas concert, we match songs with projected images of paintings and other artwork to Hear the painting and See the song.

Summer 2014:
We're making a short film of VOCAL CANVAS into its own work of art

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has awarded Claudia $5000 to develop an art film of two of the Vocal Canvas songs (Bravo pour le clown and Elizabeth Doyle's Like a Tree). Reserve your place at the Mayne Stage for our live-audience filming on August 19 here, and join our matching fund campaign through September 14 at hatchfund.org!

Follow this link to view our 5-minute video about Vocal Canvas and the forthcoming film project.
Below is the audio recording with images of our performance of Bravo pour le clown for the Detroit Institute of Arts, January 2013.

Each Vocal Canvas concert is completely custom made for you! In some cases, we pen brand new numbers inspired by the artwork. A cello stirs the wind over Monet's garden, a Fauré and Beatles musical mash-up makes blackbirds soar out of their painterly frames, and a musically-underscored poem lets you glimpse inside the portrait of a woman and her inner thoughts.

  • For museums and curated arts events: we complement with songs the artwork from a current exhibit. As needed, we supplement the supplied images with related images to complete the story.
  • For arts collectives, artists' guilds and studios: we work in collaboration with the artists to create songs inspired by their work, as they create works inspired by our songs.
  • For libraries, theatres, private and special events: we develop a show around a single theme, artist or period: "Dreams", "Life at Home", "Travel Abroad", "Paris Noir", "The Color Green"— the possibilities are endless.
Here are some of our favorite Vocal Canvas experiences:
  • Picasso and Matisse go to the Music Hall,
    in conjunction with the Kelingrove traveling exhibit "From Millet to Matisse" at the Frick Art Museum of Pittsburgh; and a variation for the Detroit Institute of Arts' exhibition of Matisse and Picasso works on paper.
  • Picasso Goes to the Music Hall
    accompanies masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris, while at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art
  • The Jazz Fauré Project
    A magnificent return engagement at the Frick Art Museum of Pittsburgh brings the 6-member Jazz Fauré ensemble to accompany "The Road to Impressionism" exhibit.
  • Impressionism in Song,
    a recital for a "Pennsylvania Impressionists" exhibit at the James A. Michener Museum of Art, Doylestown, PA
  • Portraits and Landscapes,
    a collaboration with Box Factory for the Arts members in which we matched songs with individual paintings, composed original songs, used guild members' writings and poetry, and even improvised a song to the art.
  • Postcards from a Trip Abroad,
    sung by Espresso—4 Chicago Voices, for Des Plaines Library, a show on 5 continents and 8 languages, displayed dozens of imagined postcards and wished-for travels.
  • Paris in the Jazz Age comes to West Lafayette High School. The images are projected all around us in the Common Area— drawings of Josephine Baker dancing and wearing almost nothing, mon dieu!
GiftsBlackbird_0682 (145K)
MatissePlumedHat (134K)Weatherston6 (64K)
John Owen

Our repertoire is as eclectic as the artwork we accompany: from 19th to 21st century art songs, Great American Songbook, theatre music and chanson, plus new songs composed by Elizabeth Doyle and other collaborators.

Unfurl a Vocal Canvas for your audience!