Re: Stan Brakhage Copyrights _Experimental sound-art

From: peiman khosravi (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Oct 19 2009 - 13:42:03 PDT

Hello Robert,

Thanks for a very thorough response. Your post has indeed got me thinking. I
think as far as commentary is concerned your point is valid. However I am
immensely interested in finding/exploring direct audio/visual relationships.
In this case the film and music should be played together, otherwise the
film serves only as an inspiration and the music as a derivative.

I am interested in maintaining a kind of balance between the two art-forms.
For instance, we can think of counterpoint in music (thinking about
conventional instrumental music) and we can certainly discuss the
exploration of visual counterpoint in Dog Star Man. There are infinite other
abstract structural terms that can be applied to behaviour of textural
elements in music and film (forgive me, I do not know what is the correct
term for the equivalent of "musical texture" in film) - e.g.
superimposition, coexistence, collaboration, subordination,
synchronicity/asynchronicity. There is a whole world to be explored when you
think that these relationships can also exist across the two different
disciplines. There can be counterpoint between visual elements and sonic
elements. The visual space can be expanded through sound's powerful ability
to create spaces (already represented, often in a simplistic fashion, in 5.1
sound for commercial cinema).

Surely this project could at least serve as a personal exercise to explore
these intricate relationships? Relationships which the film is already so
beautifully creating visually.

Am I dreaming too much?

Many Thanks,


2009/10/19 Robert Schaller <email suppressed>

> I was also thinking of responding to this, rather less harshly than Tony
> did, but only because I think that a musical commentary on a visual work
> is potentially interesting at least as an academic project. We all accept
> that critics can and should write about works, and must acknowledge that
> their writings don't fully make sence without actually reading or watching
> or listening to the work they are writing about. Imagine that instead of
> the critic writing words, the critic writes a musical score. The musical
> score could them stand on its own, like the program music from the 19th
> century that was written about something but then is listened to without
> the hearer having any access to what inspired the music, which leads to
> the first suggestion that I had, which is: be inspired by Dog Star Man,
> and even let that inspiration guide your composition, but then let the
> music stand on its own.
> But then, if the music is indeed commentary, and the commentary makes
> specific reference to the film, wouldn't it be much more clear to play the
> film with the music, so that those refernces are visible?
> It seems to me that non-verbal commentary or critcism ought not be
> disallowed as a field, and that logically its full exigesis would want the
> playing of both works at once. But maybe here it is important to ask a
> question of intent: IS the proposed music really a serious attempt at
> criticism or comentary? Or is it, as Tony says, just riding on Brakhage's
> back?
> Unless your intent really is to elucidate and explore the musicality of
> Stan's work, an investigation that I will admit to having an interest in
> -- indeed, the question of in what way exactly are visual and audial
> musics related strikes me as worth exploring, and music may be a good
> language through which to make such an exploration -- unless such
> exploration really is the work's intent, why not just write a seperate
> work? Pull out whatever musical analogies you find in Brakhage's film,
> but use them to write your own music, without pretending that your work is
> in any way a collaboration with Stan Brakhage. The art world is full of
> works that quote from or elaborate on ideas atributed to other
> artists/poets/writers/composers/filmakers, and some of the resulting works
> are themselves great works. But those that succeed are less quotation
> than reworking and new direction.
> Maybe the question is between quotation and plagerism. Playing a whole
> film as a quotation seems potentially rather more like plagerism. I think
> that in embarking on any such project, ones aims and motivations need to
> be carefully worked out.
> > Hi Peiman-------
> >
> > This is such a misbegotten project that I hardly know where to begin. If
> > as you
> > say you are actually a PhD student (of something), and this is "part of
> my
> > research/creative interest in transmodality (multi sensual perception) of
> > musical
> > experience, particularly with regard to the creation of musical space"
> and
> > "part
> > of my composition portfolio, and discussed in my thesis", your project
> > certainly
> > impugns the credentials or advisement capabilities of your thesis
> adviser.
> >
> > Riding this jejune project on Brakhage's back does no credit to either of
> > you.
> >
> > --------------t0ny
> >
> >
> > On Sat 10/17/09 9:21 AM , Peiman Khosravi (address suppressed):
> >> Dear All,
> >>
> >> This is my first post here so apologies if this is not the place for
> >> it.
> >> I am a PhD student at City University London, focusing my research and
> >> practice in studio based Electroacoustic music composition. At the
> >> moment I am exploring audio/visual relationships as part of my
> >> research/creative interest in transmodality (multi sensual perception)
> >> of musical experience, particularly with regard to the creation of
> >> musical space. As a result I am interested in creating an acoustic
> >> counterpart to part II of Brakhage's "Dog Star Man". Once
> >> completed this will be part of my composition portfolio, and discussed
> >> in my
> >> thesis. It may also be played in presentations/concerts.
> >>
> >> This will not be a conventional soundtrack, nor does it intend to be
> >> in anyway representative of -or remain true to- Brakhage's original
> >> work, which I understand and agree that should be watched in silence.
> >> The project will be my attempt to create a new work born out of a
> >> network of audio/visual relationships. Naturally this will reinterpret
> >> the original film, acoustically magnifying certain visual aspects that
> >> are formally dominant in my experience of the work.
> >>
> >> As it happens I have come to realize that Brakhage is one of the most
> >> "musical" filmmakers and working with his films would be like re-
> >> interpreting a piece of Bach: the work already contains and represents
> >> a very pure form of musical thinking. For this reason it will no doubt
> >> be a challenge and may prove impossible for me to complete, or arouse
> >> other's criticism. However, I cannot avoid a challenge when I see one!
> >>
> >> In short I am writing here with two questions:
> >>
> >> 1- Could someone please clarify for me the issue of copyrights with
> >> Brakhage's works and point me to the right direction for getting
> >> permissions for this project.
> >>
> >> 2- Any ideas and suggestions are more than welcomed... as I am not a
> >> filmmaker your ideas will for sure be very helpful to me.
> >>
> >> Many thanks in advance.
> >>
> >> Best,
> >> Peiman
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> __________________________________________________________________
> >> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <(address suppressed)
> >> om>.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> > __________________________________________________________________
> > For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> >
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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