Jamie xx will be – that’s right – soundtracking a painting at the National Gallery this Summer. 

Well, kind of. In an exhibition called Soundscapes, a series of musicians and sound artists (as well as Jamie xx, there’s Chris Watson, Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller, Gabriel Yared, Nico Muhly and Susan Philipsz) will respond to six paintings of their choice from the National Gallery’s collection.

Each musician will have a soundproofed room in the Sainsbury Wing, where both the painting and their musical piece will be installed. That will be the only place to hear the music.

Dr Minna Moore Ed, who curated Soundscapes, says “we are tremendously fortunate to have musicians and sound artists of this calibre creating completely new work for the National Gallery… And it is incredibly exciting to see how they will metamorphose these great paintings into musical and sound form.”

Dr Nicholas Penny, the gallery’s director, meanwhile, Gallery says “when sounds have been composed in response to a work of art they can encourage – even compel – concentration. Furthermore, it can combine with an image to captivate and transport us. Silence, afterwards, is not the same!”



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