Re: film + music

From: Tripod Depot (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Nov 09 2007 - 21:35:13 PST

Hello Joanna,

Thanks for the minute details in response to my truncated mail. Truncated, because it "sent itself", so to say, alone, i.e., unbeknownst to me: unfinished, unchecked, and with seemingly no trace in the "sent" folder. No wonder the last paragraph didn't make any sense; assuming it would when completed. Let me try it now at least.

And especially in the absence of any straightforward illustration-trigger (the Eiffel Tower coupled with "La Marseillaise", etc.). Suppose you see:

in this order and silent, and then their corresponding sound tracks, without the image, and ordered differently, e.g.,
If you didn't know what was the original pairing, could you "guess it", or deduce, above random. "Above random" would seem to be a key to it though this somehow dangerously (?) smacks of Rhine's ESP experiments with "Zener cards"...

Be it as it may, your Feldman-score example aptly deals with my little problem. It may be of scant importance if one given listener can see any correspondence with the visual score. But if nobody can see it, then what would make it a particular Feldman score? And what if nobody in the audience can read?? Does it simply mean that for them the visual does not communicate with the auditory?? Or, maybe, we should allow for some (...?) unmediated intrasensory equivalence system?

Synaesthesia? Then yours is a polyphonic (polysensory?) synaesthesia,
as well as

Tripod Depot

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Joanna Raczynska
  To: email suppressed
  Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 12:20 PM
  Subject: Re: film + music

  Hello, thanks for your great questions.
  Since the moving image works were all different durations, then of course the resulting performances of the pieces differed in duration from one another. Yes, very often the musicians did incorporate rests (silence), just as sometimes they played when there was darkness or nothing noticeable on the screen at all.
  The interpretation of the visuals by the sound artists was the key, just as any musician interpreting a graphic score brings their own artistry/translation/take/read to the piece they play. Sometimes the composer gives direction and parameters to their score, sometimes they don't etc., as was the case with this project. And naturally if a different set of musicians played to a piece already interpreted, the resulting sound and experience of the piece would be different again (apologies if this is glaringly obvious).
  The DVD pairs the films/videos with studio recorded sounds (with one exception that uses a recording of a live interpretation). During the opening and closing receptions of the exhibition at the Carnegie, the works were projected and accompanied live. As with the performance of most graphic scores, each live performance would be different and dependent on the interpretation of the musician/s, though all of the pieces were rehearsed prior to being played live. So, the musicians stayed fairly true to each score/film/video as they interpreted them, with minimal improvisation unless the reading called for improvisation to be an element of the score. One piece, (image by Carl Lee and sound my JT Rinker on electronics / Otto Mueller on accordian) relied on a Max MSP patch that read the degrees of light and dark on the screen for some of its sound triggers, for instance --an example of a quite strict interpretation of the image, paired with sounds from an accordian player who had his own system of interpretation of the same visuals.
  I admit to not quite understanding your last paragraph, I'm afraid. I suppose I would ask you : does it matter if an audience member who looks at a graphic score by, say, Morton Feldman, could "pair" the resulting sound from the musicians with the composition on the page? I think this project of ours is successful (if I may say so) primarily because it allows for a method of collaboration and interpretation of sounds and image (the performance and exhibiton of such) that is lacking in a straightforward live playing to a silent film. It underscores process over result, to me at least. For Eyes and Ears, sound artists are asked to engage in a different way, just as the visual artists are asked to think of their images as "directions" or signs rather than a closed system of images.
  Hope that answers some of your questions.


    Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 11:32:31 -0500
    From: email suppressed
    Subject: Re: film + music
    To: email suppressed

    You say, Joanna: "The results were all amazing and very different from one another."
    The interesting think would be to see what these differing results may have in common. One could perhaps assume duration (not necessarily though...). Do any of them include periods of silence (rests) while the image is going on? Any parallelisms with respect to change in color, brightness, speed, and the resulting rhythms? Any correspondence with particular position on screen (the screen surface interpreted, say, as a keyboard),

    Furthermore, suppose sound and image displayed separately, e.g., 5 of each, to a first time ("naive") spectator. Can it be detected which ones belong together? What a statistic of such pairing would be within a number of spectators? And especially in the absence of any straightforward illustration-trigger (the Eiffel

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Joanna Raczynska
      To: email suppressed
      Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 10:01 AM
      Subject: Re: film + music

      Dear Andy and Frameworkers,
      Will Redman and I co-curated a program called Eyes and Ears in 2005 for the Carnegie Art Center in Western NY. We invited 12 media artists to create silent or near silent films and videos that were read by members of the Open Music Ensemble as graphic scores. These media art works were created not as silent films to be played to but rather, graphic scores to be played. The results were all amazing and very different from one another.
      Thanks to funding from the New York State Music Fund, we compiled the works and their sounds onto a DVD that I'd be happy to send you. The compilation is currently on view at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
      Will and I are working on a second installment of the Eyes and Ears project to be realized in a live performance at Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY in April of 2008. The visual artists involved in Part II are Hollie Lavenstein, Bruce Checefsky, Caroline Koebel, Zach Poff, Stephanie Maxwell, and Sara Hornbacher.
      For more information about Part I please visit
      This site includes audio clips from the live performances.
      Please let me know if you'd be interested in receiving a DVD of Part I from this project. I would love Eyes and Ears to be considered for your show in December.
      Looking forward,
      (Baltimore, MD)


> Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 09:27:54 -0500
> From: email suppressed
> Subject: film + music
> To: email suppressed
> Hi,
> I am putting together a show at Eyedrum for December 10 of experimental
> films that are silent but can have live soundtracks, in the manner of
> Eric Theise's "Hojas de Maiz." (Eric specifies that composers and
> performers can create live sound accompaniment for his film.) A musician
> friend here in Atlanta, who is an accomplished improviser and educator,
> is leading a small ensemble of acoustic instruments for the event. The
> musicians will look at the works ahead of time and develop appropriate
> music for them.
> If any Frameworkers have created such works and are interested to have
> them shown here, please let me know (on or off list). Suggestions of
> historical works are also welcome, though I'm particularly interested in
> showing contemporary works at this screening.
> Thanks,
> Andy Ditzler
> Atlanta, GA

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.