song for the LEMONS

by Tommy Becker / TAPE NUMBER ONE



The lemon, often-utilized by famed still life painters was rarely the focus of a composition. More typically, this citrus was being abused for its compositional qualities. Its ovoid form of highly saturated yellow was used to balance the more dominant piling of apples, oranges and pears. The lemon, I felt, never got its day in the sun

That was until I came across Manet’s, “The Lemon”. A rather small oil painting completed in 1880 that puts the tiny fruit on center stage. It sits alone on a platter, its alien-like being taking up the bulk of space and its drab, neutral surrounding accentuating its radiant glow.

After my encounter with Manet’s masterpiece, I began bringing lemons into class for my students to admire and paint. I discovered that many of my students had never tasted pure lemon. We talked about the color, the scent and heavy weight flavor of this tiny citrus. Their paintings surrounded the fruit in a vast white space and a solar system of floating yellow forms evolved.

This video is my tribute to the lemon. A piece of fruit with a long, diluted history. An innocent little orb of sourness, often used to describe broken down cars or flavor dead fish. I hope this video can bring some much-deserved recognition to this tiny fruit.


released January 1, 2013
written, recorded & performed by Tommy Becker
backing vocals - students - THANKS!!



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TAPE NUMBER ONE San Francisco, California

Music & Video - written, recorded, edited and performed by Tommy Becker ©2000-2015

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