Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Humming along

Glenn Gould Birthday Cake - sheet music

If you are Canadian and enjoy listening to Bach, then you know who Glenn Gould is. My first encounter with Glenn Gould was watching him on TV as a child and wondering why that strange man was so close to the piano keys and why he was humming so loudly as he played. As my musical education continued, I realized that Mr. Gould was so good he could do whatever he wanted, unlike me, who would never excel at playing Bach no matter how loud I hummed (I'm more of a Debussy person anyways).


Originally, Patricia asked me to combine Chris' two major likes, Glenn Gould and NFL football into a birthday cake which caused me to scratch my head repeatedly in artistic bewilderment for several weeks. Luckily, his Minnesota Vikings were defeated and that allowed me to concentrate solely on Mr. Gould. Using books as the main structural elements of cake allowed for easy construction which gave me more time to focus on the decorative elements which showcased the piano virtuoso and his most famous recording, the Goldberg Variations. The cake flavours were identical to their wedding cake, vanilla cake, lemon curd, and white chocolate lemon mousseline.

Glenn Gould Birthday Cake - portrait

Two thin sheets of gumpaste were dried out for a week, one flat and the other curved like an overturned page. Using my calligraphy tools and edible colouring mixed with vodka as ink, the first 16 bars of the Aria from the Goldberg Variations were carefully inscribed. The last two bars were a little squishy but otherwise, the sheet music was quite beautiful to look at. Glenn Gould's portrait was reproduced from an original work by artist Drew Hewitt using a brush and edible colour marker.


Personally, I love working with dried gumpaste as a medium because it allows me to finish major components ahead of time with very little assembly needed on the day of delivery. Plus, these elements can be easily removed before cutting and serving the cake, which means it never has to be eaten and potentially, it could be kept intact for years. Undoubtedly, buying an edible ink printing system would be the less labourious choice, but what would be the fun in that?!

20 comments:

T said...

Beautiful!

rlbates said...

Yes, beautiful!

Jabulani said...

Stunningly effective cake.

S said...

whoa! so cool! i can't believe you did that all by hand.

jessie said...

at first, i was like... where's the cake?! and then i realized... uh, that is the cake!

Anonymous said...

Your cake is absolutely stunning! I wouldn't dare show my opera singer daughter because she would want it for her next birthday (with Bizet or Mozart, lol). You have sooooo much patience. It's so perfect, it looks like you just printed it out! Brava!!!

Rose

eatnabout said...

You. Are. Amazing.

jami said...

Wow! I'm not sure I could transcribe that on paper, let alone on gumpaste. Beautiful!

ivorypomegranate said...

Wow! This is so intricate and amazing! Seriously, you must have a gift for this!

Anonymous said...

wow, that is amazing! sylvia

Geraldine said...

I'm with you on Debussy! Amazing cake!

Mochene said...

All I can say is WOW! As a pastry chef and as a music and art lover.

Sugar Siren said...

Simply stunning, congratulations on a such a wonderful job.

amanda said...

this is stunning. Very nice work.

berry lovely said...

Wow, what an amazing piece of art! Just the writing alone is amazing.

DB said...

speechless at how flawless this is. WOW!

Charmian said...

WOW! Anything with music notes.. is just... ..wow..

Donatella said...

You are a real artist!! I would like to know what are your "writing tools" to create such a perfect music sheet!!
Congratulations!

Donatella

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you did this all by hand without using an edible image! I am in awe.

cake decorating supplies said...

OMG. I don't know Glen Gould, but this cake is perrrrrrfeccccctttt. I love the songbook idea and the music . . . . I can't describe what I think and feel. If ever there was a cake made for me, this is it!!!!!!!1111