Film/musical composition ; 2010 ; Duration 7:36
Composer: Allan Schindler
It was a great pleasure to collaborate with Peter Byrne and Carole Woodlock once again in creating this work. I had previously worked with these two superb and insightful video artists on our 2007 experimental film/music composition passage, and also had collaborated with Peter in 2005 on Second Sight.
roundabout is an inquiry into landscape and memory, movement and flow. Peter and Carole have provided the following notes on the visual imagery in this work:
We use gesture, layering, randomness, pattern and color to evoke a sense of becoming. Live action footage, with hand-drawn and computer generated composite animation sequences come together in order to establish a shifting and layered sense of time and place. Interrupting ones sense of balance and location, a cascade of imagery interweaves and sweeps on a circuitous journey. A fragmented sense of place evokes a shifting center and viewpoint in which we seek to unearth the interaction and collapsing of virtual and real spaces.
Despite frequent variations in tempo and pace, occasional use of ambiguous tempi (seemingly fast and slow at the same time) and passages employing two or more simultaneous tempi in different layers, the computer-generated music is designed to convey a sense of continuous motion and gravitation, perhaps analogous to the current of a river or, alternatively, of tidal-like fluctuations in inflow and outflow. The music employs 19 tone equal temperament tuning throughout, so some of the chordal progressions and melodic lines initially may sound "pinched" or piquant (or perhaps simply "offkey" to some listeners), while other passages might suggest a hollow or "distant" quality owing to the use of acoustically pure (and thus hollow-sounding) intervals afforded by this tuning system.
Many passages are constructed from distinct, overlapping textural layers that employ different collections of sounds and often move at different tempi. However, I also attempted to interlock these layers and to thread them through one another, so that the music moves and breathes, swells and subsides as a whole rather than in a stratified or lumpy fashion.
Many of the textural layers are anchored by one or more defining sounds -- short, prominent melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, textural and/or timbral ideas that recur in varied, transformed or expanded form several times throughout a work. Some mp3 audio examples of recurring defining sounds in roundabout include:
Concurrent with the gradual development of these defining thematic ideas,
the piece also often employs rhythmically animated background textural
layers that provide
"surface motion" and a backdrop, as in this
JPG stills Here are four stills of the imagery from the work and, at the bottom, a montage of these four images.
MP3 audio excerpt
This excerpt, from the opening minute and a half of the work, exemplifies some of the ways in which the musical elements discussed above, and other elements not mentioned here, are fitted together in the piece.
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