In addition to releasing his fantastic new album, In Colour, Jamie xx has taken on some unique projects this year, like scoring a ballet, and now composing a piece for the National Gallery in response to one of its works.
Jamie xx was commissioned by the National Gallery to create a song inspired by one of the artworks in its collection. The UK producer chose Théo van Rysselberghe’s painting Coastal Scene, and the museum released a video about the track sound-tracked by Jamie xx's song, titled "Ultramarine." Coastal Scene was painted during a time when Rysselberghe was very into pointillism—"the idea of assembling a composition through a myriad of dots and creating a unified whole," Minna Moore Ede, the exhibit's curator, says in the video. "And Jamie's done something very clever actually, his idea is his sound, his track will mirror the process by which the painting has been made."
The National Gallery also commissioned musicians Nico Muhly, Susan Philipsz, Gabriel Yared, Chris Watson, Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller as part of its Soundscapes exhibition.
Watch the video above to hear about Jamie xx's track and listen to the song, which really does sound like a series of dots assembled into one unified track. You can also see the painting that inspired it below.