Re: Stan Brakhage Copyrights _Experimental sound-art

From: Matt Helme (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Oct 19 2009 - 10:57:34 PDT

Why is it misbegotten?

From: Robert Schaller <email suppressed>
To: email suppressed
Sent: Mon, October 19, 2009 1:34:45 PM
Subject: Re: Stan Brakhage Copyrights _Experimental sound-art

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

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 email suppressed sent:
>> 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>.