Re: Stan Brakhage Copyrights _Experimental sound-art

From: marilyn brakhage (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Oct 20 2009 - 01:54:49 PDT

I am certainly as concerned as anyone to protect the integrity of
Stan's films. However, I find these attacks on a musician's interest
in investigating sound-vision relationships to be just a bit harsh.
Raha, you will find, with a little more research, that Stan was indeed
very involved in musical aesthetics. He once wrote that "the more
silently-oriented my creative philosophies have become, the more
inspired-by-music have my photographic aesthetics and my actual
editing orders become, both engendering a coming-into-being of the
physiological relationship between seeing and hearing in the making of
a work of art in film." He referred to music as the "sound equivalent
of the mind's moving," and said he believed that a study of music
would reveal "the physiology of thought," writing, also, that "I seek
to hear color just as Messiaen seeks to see sounds." Interestingly
(in reference to the Bach question), he also claimed that several
films of his had been inspired by Webern's adaptation of Bach's
Musical Offering. And much later than that, Stan was inspired to make
INCORPORATED INTO NEW FILMS: Tenney's "Flocking," for example, and
Corner's "Through the Mysterious Barricade: After F. Couperin." Of
course, his silent works he considered complete, and made TO BE silent
- and to be experienced as "visual music" (which is also how he
referred to his work). And it would certainly seem that any attempt
by anyone else to add music to them would be like adding music to
music -- dubious at best, and the result would certainly no longer be
the film that it was. . . . But that said, even Stan was not
completely averse to the notion that someone MIGHT be able to make a
great soundtrack to one of his silent films. (He agreed to let Joel
Haertling, for example, try to do so with the silent film "Creation"
-- though I don't think anything came of it.)

Nonetheless, Peiman Khosravi did not presume to say that he wished to
"make a soundtrack" for Dog Star Man, Part II (a 6 minute section of
the total film). He was, rather, apparently inspired to try to create
a musical response that would be, as I understand it, his own aural
interpretation of HIS visual experience of the film (which I certainly
did not think he was taking as a "neutral vehicle," as Tony Conrad
suggested he was doing). In fact, how is it "insultingly dismissive"
of the field of filmmaking, I wonder, for a musician to wish to
interact with it -- any more than it would be insultingly dismissive
of musicians for a filmmaker to incorporate their music?

"Dog Star Man" stands on its own. It is not in need of a soundtrack.
Obviously. But that someone has been inspired by it and wishes to try
to make a response of some kind does not seem to me to be necessarily
"ignorant" -- though certainly intrepid! Khosravi's project may end
up being an empty exercise, or it may lead to a creative revelation
(for him, and perhaps for others). I would not presume to know. . .
But whatever it is going to be, it is certainly not going to change or
threaten "Dog Star Man," which has its own life.

Marilyn Brakhage

On 19-Oct-09, at 9:48 PM, Raha Raissnia wrote:

> if Khosravi does a smallest amount of research on Brakhage he will
> quickly find out that that Brackhage himself referred to his work as
> "visual thinking ", never as "musical thinking " man !!
> therefor I agree with tony and also find khosravi's project as
> "ignorant or (more kindly put) jejune"
> raha

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