This latest version includes timing information. The length and richness of Animam Meam Delictam Tradidi led me to move it to the end, because it makes a great finale.
Abandoning synchronicity invites simultaneity.
The temporal unit for the players, movers, supers, the stagehand Kuroko, is the entire song.
So let’s show different moments simultaneously, like some medieval paintings.
Let’s sometimes have frozen players in different spots depicting different moments of the story.
This connects to my film strip works.
Simultaneous tableaux are like film frames.
The image is from Eadweard Muybridge’s 1887 series The Human Figure in Motion, which influenced Marcel Duchamp’s painting, and started the wonderful modern art meme/theme of a nude on a staircase.
One my first mental images of the piece involved people on stage surrounding a figure, firing off flashes like paparazzi.
A paparazzi passion.
I thought of the people on stage as Ninjas, in reference to a job I had for Orange choreographing dancers to create virtual cinematography for 100 40-second spots. Those Ninjas were faceless, completely covered in black; the Ninjas were partially inspired by Kuroko, stagehands dressed in black in traditional Japanese theater. Chris suggests Supernumerary, the operatic word for extra. James likes the word movers, but as they may often be motionless, I’d like to suggest players.
It became clear that moving figures would create a feeling of a play, and distract from the light. We spoke with James about doing very slow movements, to match the long-waved rhythms of light. And Jim suggested static people, which connects with my current work with tableaux vivants.
Tableau vivant originally evokes elaborate set pieces with immobile people to create breathing sculptures for public festivities,masses and, more recently, staged follies. By extension, I use tableaux vivants to mean immobile objects (sculptures and video canvases) displaying slowly moving figures.
By freezing the action of the people on stage, we can foster a meditative attitude in the audience, to replace the feeling of a play with that of a series of tableaux vivants.
To move from passion play to illuminated frescos.
Usually being literal in music videos means images that illustrate exactly what the words are saying.
Here it’s the inverse: the words exactly describe the images from the camp video for Total Eclipse of the Heart (WARNING: the video quality is atrocious)
The humor comes from the bad over-the-top visuals (slow-motion doves, wind machines, fog machines, to say nothing of the backlight), but also because the words are so literal.
Being too literal is a form of extreme synchronicity.
I first considered trying to get custom software written to enable subtle synchronicity between the live music and the lighting.
The idea was to process the audio signal and output DMX controls. An approach that fits into Jim Campbell’s ironic formula for creating computer art, (an interactive model which we abandoned years ago in favor of less predictable and more chaotic reactive art).
Still synchronicity represented a valiant desire to add luminous voices to the audio polyphony.
To sing along.
I then made the decision to abandon synchronicity between music and light. Rhythmic synchronicity is a very wide-spread effect, as is visualization of music with patterns, luminosity and colors. This often lacks mystery. Obtaining something subtle and original requires more time and resources than we have.
So goodbye to the beat.
It seems more interesting to marry the polyphony with long rhythms that will create unpredictable and unexpected patterns.
Long rhythms address our experience of time differently than most music. Very long waves are less perceptible, or perhaps perceived less consciously than rhythms closer to those of our hearts, lungs and neurones.
So we hope to add something new.