Film/musical composition ; 2005 ; Duration 5:16
Composer: Allan Schindler
This work presents a passage through a mist -- one that ultimately clarifies and sharpens (rather than obscures) perception. The visuals combine direct animation techniques (painting and etching directly on 35mm motion picture film) with animated electronic compositions and pen-on-paper drawings. The computer-generated music features cyclical returns of a nucleus of core ideas, which alternate with a continuous progression of new ideas and excursions. Among the principal defining sounds of the work are:
Perhaps the musical element within this piece in which I take the most satisfaction (doubtless because it was the element that gave me the most trouble) is melodic phrasing. Some thoughts on The Problem of Melody in Electroacoustic Music, with illustrations and audio examples drawn from Second Sight, are contained in this essay.
A prominent and recurring component of the visual imagery in Second Sight consists of short looped segments, in which abstract images twirl, spin or tumble, sometimes in rapid succession. The music, too, includes loop-like segments, but these passages sometimes do not coincide with the visual loops, and they have little in common with the hypnotic iterative procedures heard in much loop-based pop and commercial music. Rather, the loop-based musical passages in Second Sight employ modified repetitions of interlocking motivic ideas, incorporate gradual transformations in pitch and intervallic sets and also incorporate the continuous introduction of new but related timbres as well as irregular cross-accents.
MP3 audio excerpt
I dislike musical timelines and analytical roadmaps that prescriptively instruct listeners on what they should be hearing at each moment during the course of a musical work. That said, I am providing a didactic timeline here anyway to relate this excerpt, which begins 85 seconds into the piece, to the discussion above. So grab a stopwatch -- or, better yet, simply ignore this prospectus and listen to the music.
Stephanie Maxwell teaches film, video and animation courses at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her experimental animated films have been exhibited in film festivals and on television internationally, and collected as works of art by European and American museums.
Peter Byrne is a graphic artist and educator whose works have been shown in numerous international exhibitions. Peter presently teaches and serves as Program Chair in the School of Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Second Sight was premiered on the April 2 and 9 programs of the 2005 ImageMovementSound festival in Rochester and Brockport New York. Other screenings have included:
2005: Boston Underground Festival; Boston Cyberarts Festival; Moving Target new media series, Boston; University of Texas, San Antonio; Auch Animation festival, Auch, France; Rochester International Film festival; Cincinnati International Film festival; Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia; Palouse Film Festival, Washington; Atlanta Underground Film Festival; International Kansk Video festival, Kansk, Russia; Antimatter Underground Film Festival, Victoria, B.C.; Not Still Art Festival, Micro Museum, Brooklyn; New Hampshire Film Expo 05, Portsmouth. NH; Mill Valley Festival, Mill Valley, CA; (Im)Permanence conference, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; Syracuse University; INVIDEO Festival Milan, Italy; Anchorage International Film Festival; Art Nuevo InteractivA '05, Merida, MX; Unitec School, Auckland, NZ; Moving Image Centre, Auckland; Waikato University, Hamilton, NZ; Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, NZ; Victoria University, Wellington NZ; Christchurch, NZ
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