Junior Julian Hayes inhales musical media and exhales art of all kinds


Ellie McDowell

Here is Julian Hayes pictured in the band room.

Sometimes the spontaneous urge to create an art project at a random hour of the night is overpowering—at least this rings true for junior Julian Hayes.

“Yesterday at midnight, I had the sudden urge to make a mobile,” Julian said. “I [worked on it] for like two hours, and it sucks, but I’m happy.”

A mobile is an art project configured with numerous rods with small weights or objects hanging off of them, similar to the things that hang above babies’ cribs. However, in this case, Julian’s mobile takes on a more abstract persona. In his sixth hour Sculpture and Ceramics class, Julian sorted through a box of discarded metal wire figures and decided to incorporate them into his mobile. Now, this dynamic and unusual art piece is suspended from Julian’s ceiling, commemorating his artistic talents and inclinations. 

This mobile is additionally a reflection of Julian’s character and artistic profile—he is all about experimentation, the creative process, and discovering nuanced ways to relish forms of art, whatever they might entail. He uses art class as a way to leverage his talents in sculpture making and has found a good deal of solace in that. 

In fact, Julian uses his sculptures to encapsulate the ebbs and flows of his musical interests on the other side of the artistic spectrum.

“Music is just like sound sculptures,” said Julian, weaving together his passion for both mediums. “The creative process [for both art forms] is quite similar. I try to formulate [an] idea as much as I can in my head and sketch it out. Once I have all that done, I then attempt to make something. It hasn’t been going too well for me for music, but it’s been working out well for sculpture.”

Despite the fact that he has hit somewhat of a roadblock in his music making, the genres that primarily pique Julian’s interest are classical and jazz. To intersect his hobbies with his flair for music, Julian participates in the FHC Jazz Band and is trying to teach himself how to play the bass at home. But beyond practicing his favorite music, Julian is fully enveloped in the culture and listening experience that is associated with his preferred genres.

“A lot [of my inspiration comes from] the freedom the artist has,” Julian said. “Jazz has a huge culture of doing whatever you want and no one will care. Experimentation is super, super, highly encouraged, even if [the music] sounds like garbage—that’s so freeing for the artists. When you look at jazz and some of the legends, they’re all fantastic players. Every single one of them innovated so much [and have done] so many weird things.”

After being exposed to art classes and ideals in his freshman year, this creative pathway led Julian to discover an array of unique musicians, coinciding with his newfound love of peculiar art. The artist Frank Zappa was the gateway to Julian’s motley of eclectic and outlandish tunes.

“[Frank Zappa] led me to the weird music I [make],” Julian said. “He produced an album that’s just intentionally garbage, and then you listen to it and you’re like, ‘Oh, this is hilarious.’ And then you keep listening to it, and then you start to appreciate it musically and seriously—it’s fantastic. The album is called Trout Mask Replica. The album name was literally picked by little slips of paper in a hat. They pulled out [the words] ‘trout,’ ‘mask,’ and ‘replica.’”

Julian’s adoration for enigmatic artists goes beyond simply the music they make, but rather the emotions and feelings they elicit through their work. He has found that sounds are not just to cushion the background or the vocals of a song and alternatively stand in the limelight of their own significance. Altogether, artistic contribution from a musician and the sounds they produce have the ability to stamp an impression into the listener’s creative processes and the way they approach daily life.

Music is just like sound sculptures.

— Julian Hayes

“[Music] has definitely given me a lot more drive,” Julian said. “Some music can be super impactful. There’s this one album that sounds like a bunch of computer BLEs and loops. It was made in the nineties, [and] it’s exploiting a quirk of our own hearing to make ears themselves produce tones, and it’s super cool. And when listening to that album, there’s no meaning to it or anything—it’s just sounds for the sake of sounds. There’s no vocals, but in the middle of that album, I just wept.”

Resulting from the sublime soundwaves his music forges, Julian is able to greet every hobby he pursues with introspection and an open mind to all art offers. His congruent opinions on both music and physical art embody how all forms are interconnected, ensuring that harmony can be found within the realm of artistry and within one’s self. 

A lot can be missed in the midst of a frenetic world, so taking a second to admire the beat of a song or the intricacy of a sculpture can be enough to tame a mind and fill in a deeper thought. Julian observes his passions for both art forms with grace and detail, and discovers what about them enchants his attention. Through patience and observation, Julian has allowed himself to love the capability of music, relish what art can blossom, and notice the change they establish.

“When you sit down and find music that you really like and [put your] focus to it, try and listen to all the different parts of it at the same time,” Julian said. “You can realize [that] there’s a whole world that you’ve been missing out on your entire life.”