Just a glance at Marylin Daniel’s small trio puts the cadence in play, the cadence that will carry the LSU Tiger Marching Band down Victory Hill, just before it stops to play its “Pre-Game” fanfare outside of Tiger Stadium.
Daniel’s piece hangs among other painted works by fellow exhibiting members of the Associated Women in the Arts.
With a title like Rhythm and Hues, it’s easy to conclude that their exhibit has a music theme, specifically, a Louisiana music theme.
The organization decided it would work within this statewide theme set in February by Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. The exhibit hangs in Louisiana’s Old State Capitol’s Senate chamber through Aug. 24.
“We all painted pieces depicting the Louisiana music theme,” says Jovann Armstrong, the association’s president. “But we left the interpretation up to each member.”
Jazz is an obvious possibility, which Armstrong has aptly depicted.
In fact, her chosen scene will be instantly familiar to most New Orleanians. A trumpeter stands on one side, a trombonist on the other. The real-life people on which they’re based are usually found performing in and around Jackson Square.
“I based it on some photos I took on a trip to New Orleans,” Armstrong says. “I love the paintings by Randy Moberg that hang in J. Alexander’s restaurant. I’ve never met him, but he’s my inspiration.”
Armstrong’s painting takes on the same impressionistic style as Moberg’s, but the work definitely is her own, as is Daniel’s.
They were the only two members in the Old State Capitol on this particular day, though other members are represented by the show’s 29 works.
And each sees Louisiana music through different eyes.
Birds on a wire become a Louisiana chorus. In another, sunlight shining through the stained glass in the old capitol’s House of Representatives chamber bounces off a grand piano.
And the Tiger Band marches in Daniel’s trio. This works well within the theme.
“My cousin’s son was in the drumline,” Daniel, the association’s past president, says.
“When we talked about doing this exhibit, I started thinking outside the box,” Daniel says. “There are historical photos of the band, and there’s that famous one of Huey Long leading it.”
Yes, the same governor-turned-senator whose office was located in the old capitol.
“There’s a lot of history that surrounds the Tiger Band, and I came across some photos I had taken when my cousin’s son was in the band,” Daniel says.
And here is her interpretation of them, the first depicting the drum section, the tuba section in the second and finally the trumpets in the third.
And if you listen close, you can hear that familiar drum cadence, setting Louisiana’s musical scene for football season.