ChamberLab will premiere six local compositions, all based on the art of Tucson muralist Joe Pagac.

It will be art inspired by music inspired by art at the next ChamberLab concert Saturday at Club Congress.

The grass-roots classical performance series will feature six trios showcasing six original musical works, each created with a different painting from local muralist Joe Pagac as its muse.

While they perform, Pagac will construct new visual pieces motivated by the music that he hears.

Paintings are meant to be finished before each song ends. Trio works will run between eight and 12 minutes.

“I am excited for the challenge,” Pagac said. “It should be a fun experiment. I like trying new things. It keeps me from falling into a rut or getting too stagnant.”

The idea came to ChamberLab founder Chris Black after Black attended an Artifact Dance Project performance at the University of Arizona’s Stevie Eller Dance Theatre in March.

The production, dubbed “I Wonder if My Name Is Alice,” featured Pagac painting background scenery to live music and dance.

“He would paint a character and the character would come to life,” Black said. “He would paint the moon and the moon would rise up into the sky.”

Pagac was quick to accept Black’s ChamberLab offer.

“I didn’t really think about the logistics of it when I was originally asked,” Pagac said. “I realized after the fact that I am going to need to hustle on these. It is going to be a rapid-fire event.”

Pagac’s paintings were chosen from his website by six composers and ChamberLab regulars.

Cellist Michael Simmons, a composer and the only ChamberLab participant scheduled to perform in all six trios, saw the experience as a unique opportunity.

“It was an interactive process where the music that I was writing was affecting my perception of the painting while, at the same time, my perception of the painting was affecting the music I was writing,” Simmons said. “I was pleasantly surprised by the whole phenomenon.”

Violin work will be divided between Samantha Bounkeua and the Kingfisher Quartet’s Benjamin Nisbet.

The third instrument will rotate depending on whose music is being performed.

Pagac has not been told which of his pieces were chosen to inspire the works, leaving him with no preconceived notions while on stage.

“I’m just glad they had enough to choose from,” he said. “I was concerned they wouldn’t find enough to inspire them, but they didn’t seem to have a problem with that.”

Cathalena has covered music for the Star for the past 20 years. She's a graduate of Arizona State University has worked at Sedona Red Rock News, Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York; and USA Today.