How Music Has Influenced My Art

How Music Has Influenced My Art
Pen and ink portrait of Jim Croce by Elizabeth Moore, 1974

Ever since I can remember, music and art has been an integral part of my life. My mother, Margaret Malone and aunt, Sister Elizabeth Salmon, played in the Joy Cayler Band, an all-women swing band that toured all over the world in the forties and even entertained the WWII troops in the Pacific.

Growing up, my mother and grandmother encouraged me to take violin and piano lessons. I protested loudly many times about the non-negotiable time to practice every day, as I was more interested in drawing horses and painting landscapes. Looking back on those hours of learning scales and classical music, I can now appreciate the discipline. It was time well spent.

I began drawing in earnest while taking art classes in college and working at Concert-News. Some of my earliest pieces featured guitarists, including the pen and ink drawing of Jim Croce. It was from a photo taken by Bob Moore at the Mississippi River Festival in 1973. The last interview and photos of Croce were published in the first issue of Concert-News in September, shortly after he was tragically killed in an airplane accident. One year later, Croce was remembered in an anniversary issue. That same issue also featured a spotlight on the British group, Nektar, along with Bob's interview with Derek "Mo" Moore on the group's first American tour and their new album, "Remember the Future."

Last Saturday, I was thrilled to see Nektar in concert for the first time at one of four sold-out shows at the Widley Theatre in Edwardsville. It was a bitter sweet, emotional experience sitting in the audience with Janis Haas (who worked at Concert-News) and her brother John Scott (guitarist), listening to selections from their albums, including "Tab in the Ocean", "Remember the Future", "Recycling" and their newly released album, "The Other Side." The stellar performance featured original members Ron Howden (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Derek "Mo" Moore (bass, vocals and lyrics) and Mick Brockett (visuals, lyrics) and new members Ryche Chlanda (guitars, vocals), Randy Dembo (bass, bass pedals) and Kendall Scott (keyboards). Vocalist Maryann Castello joined the group's 50th anniversary tour.

Prior to the show, I visited with the group and listened to "Mo" speak warmly about the concept of "The Other Side" and their memories of Bob and Concert-News. It was also an opportunity to present the group with the original issue of Concert-News and Bob's photo of Roye Albrighton (guitarist, vocals, lyrics and founding member of Nektar), who passed in 2016. 

It's been four days since Nektar's concert. Their music is now an integral part of my life. The lyrics from the title song, "finding our way from the past, knowing how music became the ride, with memories of songs that will last", are now helping to guide my artistic journey as I work on new paintings. I'm also wearing my black Nektar t-shirt, "Remember the Future", with special thanks to Nektar tour manager George Kazepis and former writer for Concert-News

Elizabeth (Betty) Moore

(l - r) Elizabeth (Betty) Moore with Nektar: Mick Brockett, Ron Howden, Derek "Mo" Moore, Randy Dembo and Ryche Chlanda. Not shown Kendall Scott.
Nektar concert at Widley Theatre in Edwardsville, IL