May 5, 2010

Music from Carmina Burana Inspires a Laundry Room

Darcy Paddock of DK Design has participated in several past RPO Symphony Showhouse events, decorating three prior sitting rooms. (She’s also serving this year as co-chair of the design committee). She’s been drawn back by the mere fact of various designers coming together to raise funds for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

While Paddock’s life has been literally drenched in art and design since birth, her greatest challenge this year was finding a room theme to compliment the music selection, a highlight of this year’s Showhouse. Paddock will be designing the laundry room in the Philharmonics House and had this to say about her choices:

“I looked over the list of the music given to the participating designers to choose from and was immediately struck and lifted by the energy of Carmina Burana, a scenic cantata composed in 1935 by Carl Orff from a collection of 24 medieval poems with the same title. In the mid-1920s Orff began to formulate a concept he called elementare Musik, or elemental music, which was based on the unity of the arts symbolized by the ancient Greek Muses (who gave music its English name) and involved tone, dance, poetry, image, design, and theatrical gesture. I was especially taken by the piece titled, Oh Fortuna. This piece of music had motivated me during a difficult event in my life…let’s just say, it will get you to your feet! At the very least, to do the laundry!

“I really appreciate laundry rooms and believe that they are to women what garages and basements are to men. Okay, so it is a stretch to compare the modern amenities present in this sumptuous laundry room with how laundry or any work would have been done in the time this music refers to, but are we not still just as subject to the uncertainty of fate and fortune, and our shared human condition now, as we were then?

“Then the question came of how to relate it to the interior design of a laundry room. Red for the walls seemed to best express the energy of the music but not a bright busy red; instead, a deep grounding red, barn-like because this music is set in the lives of simple people. The black and off-white fabric on the window depicting the life of early farming—complete with a woman chasing a man with an old wooden pitch fork—helps express a part of the mood and theme of the music. The blacks and off-whites against the red help maximize visual strength and contrast.

“But in the midst of all this there is a pleasant place to sit on a stool near a window and tend to whatever quiet work is at hand.”

Paddock has certainly made the chore of laundry appear more like another form of art!

Symphony Showhouse 2010 opens on May 22 and runs through June 13. This "duet of cottages" features two newly constructed homes at Thornell Road and Route 64 in Pittsford and built by Ketmar Development. More than 50 spaces will showcase the work of 40 area designers. There are public tours, as well as numerous special events. Use this link for more information.

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