With the help of computers I have created a performance medium whereby my keyboards simultaneously generate audio and video expressions. The result is a live movie where key changes are dictated by a desire for the entrance of a new color, or a visual effect is determined by a rhythmic theme. Sympathetic Resonances uses this technology to transform a room into a resonant chamber filled with sounds and images related to a unified artistic vision. Similar to the experience of being in the middle of an orchestra, the music and video recordings surround the viewer with harmony, melody counterpoint, and sonic and visual color. The piece, which is composed to loop back upon itself in a random manner, is being played back through four independent sources.
The fact that these sources are not synchronized means that the timing of their playback will drift. This mechanical drift between the playback systems ensures the piece will continue to change as long as it is playing - it never repeats. This constantly changing conversation between the parts across the room generates new climaxes and valleys in the harmonies and melodies, as well as new visual juxtapositions and parallels.
Sympathetic Resonances is made up of six musical/video performances or parts, which are played back through four DVD systems. This means that there are always at least two parts not playing in the room at any given moment. This allows for a dramatic entrance of each part.
Three televisions are used with each DVD system, setting up four physical sound and video quadrants in the gallery. To expand the dialogue between parts the audio is distributed in such a way as to create the broadest stereo image for each quadrant. In order to achieve the greatest variety in the room, the six parts are ordered differently for each playback system.
The digital prints around the gallery are extracted from the performances of the six parts of Sympathetic Resonances. Each part is created from a unique video palette. In contrast to the video and music in the room, which is constantly changing, these prints may be seen as being notes out of time - they do not change.
There are two triptychs for each of the six parts and one large print for each part. The three images in every triptych reveal the transformation of images throughout that part. The large prints are hung high on the wall to allow viewing from a distance, connecting video images on one side of the gallery with prints on the other. This ties the gallery walls together no matter where you are in the space.
All of the images in the show are derived from one photograph of water. This photograph was digitally altered to vary the colors and hues and then attached to each of the 88 notes of my musical keyboard. Additional programming was added to each note to create the final video palette of each part and so each print.
All of the notes used in the six pieces come from a Bb major pentatonic scale (also known as a G minor pentatonic scale). The notes are Bb, C, D, F, and G (in case you want to play along). I have been exploring the key of Bb since recent astronomical recordings have found the lowest note in space to be a Bb. This opens up the possibility that the gallery installation is in sympathetic resonance with the lowest known pitch in the universe.
Bob@bobbralove.com Bob Bralove ©2009 All rights reserved