Off-Line
Soundtrack for experimental animated film ; 2010 ; Duration 8:40

Filmmaker: Tom Gasek
Music and initial sound design: Allan Schindler
Additional sound design: Jeff Jacoby

In May of 2009 I completed a commission from animator and director Tom Gasek to create the music and initial sound design for Off-Line, a clever, ironic but also winsome narrative experimental stop action animated film that takes an unconventional look at microtechnology. Creation of some concluding animated sequences, final editing and post production consumed the rest of the year, and the film finally was completed and premiered in early 2010.

Director Gasek has provided the following synopsis of the film:

Off-Line is a story about my relationship to work. The film is focused on a small orange capacitor named 'IZ' that lives on the circuit-board control-panel of a microwave oven. The microwave is constantly being abused by a human through overuse and inappropriate application and in the end the microwave shorts out... IZ is forced to travel around its world seeking life force and discovering the world around it. In a classic 'hero's journey' fashion, IZ eventually comes to the edge of the world and has a vision about work and its place in that system. Now, enlightened, IZ chooses to step out of its connection holes by 'free will'. In the end greater forces in life overcome the gift of the hero's journey.

In this soundtrack I attempted to fluidly interweave elements of sound design periodically into the flow of the music, abstracting and often transforming sound sources made by household items such as electrical appliances and switches, curtains, door creaks, clocks, running water, percolating coffee, skateboards and the like and incorporating them within the rhythmic and pitch structure of the music. (During final editing Director Gasek decided that this integration of domicilary noises within the music was somewhat too subtle for his dramatic conception, and commissioned San Francisco sound designer Jeff Jacoby to mix some additional sound effects into the soundtrack.)

The music is constructed throughout in 31 tone equal tempered tuning, which provides very pure thirds, sixths, fifths and fourths, but also intervals that tend to sound "stretched," or "squashed," or in some cases just plain raunchy.

MP3 audio excerpt
Duration : 1'52" ; size 3.5 MB ; encoding 256 kBit stereo

This excerpt presents the opening minute and 52 seconds of the musical soundtrack, coinciding with Act One of the narrative, which ends in catastrophe as the microwave shorts out and the comfortable if mundane world IZ has known comes crashing to an end.

Off-Line was premiered at the Jordan Schnitzer Musuem of art at the University of Oregon in Eugene in February 2010 and on the South by South West (SXSW) Film festival in Austin Texas in March, 2010. Off-Line was named a Jury's Stellar Selection (Best of) winner of the 29th Black Maria Film and Video Festival, and will be included on most of the seventy 2010 touring programs of this festival throughout the US.

About the filmmaker:
Tom Gasek, who devoted four years of work on Off-line, is an award winning stop-motion director and animator. His credits include animation on Aardman Animations 'The Wrong Trousers' and 'Chicken Run' to Henry Selicks 'Coraline.' One of Gasek's commercials for Nickelodeon featuring 'The Inside-Out Boy' is a part of the permanent collection at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. He teaches at The Rochester Institute of Technology.

For performance/exhibition information on this work please contact
Tom Gasek at tdgpph@rit.edu

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