Killer Road (Patti Smith + Jesse Smith + Soundwalk Collective)
[documentation of live performance, 1hr10m]
"Killer Road" is a sound exploration of the tragic death of Nico, Velvet Underground vocalist and 60s icon, while riding her bike on the island of Ibiza in the summer of 1988. A hypnotic meditation on the idea of perpetual motion and the cycle of life and death, the composition features Patti Smith lending her unique voice to the last poems written by the artist. Soundwalk Collective uses a travel log of field recordings and samples of Nico's signature instrument, the harmonium, to create a magnetic soundscape.
Artist Blake Carrington created, engineered and performed live visuals, treating footage shot by Stephan Crasneanscki on Ibiza as a video substrate, combining it with abstract spectral forms generated in real-time by the live sound.
Performed at FIAF Florence Gould Hall in NYC for Crossing the Line Festival (Oct 2014) and at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi (Nov 2014).
Review in Rolling Stone
Review in The National UAE
Review in Art in the City
Dark Before Dawn
[single-channel video and stereo sound, 42m]
"Dark Before Dawn" explores the subjective choreography of sound and image, the feedback loop between the two that informs and shapes what we think we see and what we think we hear. It takes the viewer through a slowly shifting, minimal and foggy color space that follows the contours of the album "Ulysses Syndrome" by Soundwalk Collective. Best viewed as large-scale projection. Commissioned by Soundwalk Collective for their album "Ulysses Syndrome".
Andrei (Near and Far)
[single-channel video and stereo sound, 10m]
"Andrei (Near and Far)" appropriates a single shot from Tarkovksy's 1966 film "Andrei Rublev", slowing it down to more than 10x its normal length. Choreographed with and against the slowly-moving image, an original sound composition carries the viewer/listener through various fantastic, realistic and abstract spaces. Within the metaphorical gap between sound and image, new meaning emerges.
Relational Wavespace: Mineral Crystals
[single-channel video and stereo sound, 16m]
"Relational Wavespace: Mineral Crystals" sonifies the molecular architecture of mineral crystals, creating suites of pure sonic tones that correspond to the resonant frequencies of specific atom groups. Pulling from a database of over 3500 mineral crystals, this video features rotating 3D visualizations of ajoite, almarudite, amicite, cobaltite, kasolite, pyroxene, quartz and turquoise, selected on the basis of their striking architecture and sonic potential. Each tone is derived from a function of the distance in nanometers between each highlighted atom, listed along the left of the frame. Part of solo exhibition "Dis/continuum" at Central Utah Art Center, May 2011.
High and Low (Relational Wavespace)
[single-channel video and stereo sound, 14m]
Scenes from Kurosawa's "High and Low" are appropriated and slowed down drastically, emphasizing the dramatic spatial tension between the characters, their focused audition and lost gazes. In each shot the characters are listening intently to some entity that is not present, their heads craned to hear better, their eyes either staring off into the middle distance or locked with each other as if to confirm the perception coming from their ears. The audience is put in the position of watching them listen. Pure sine tones of various harmonic and dissonant frequencies are applied and spatialized binaurally, one tone to each figure. The result is a sonic field of phasing and interfering patterns. Does this sound correspond to what the characters are listening to, or is it emanating somehow from themselves? The modernist domestic space, insulated acoustically and socially, is finally invaded by the outside environment.
Cathedral Scan v.5
[real-time video and audio generated from architectural plan, 16m]
In Cathedral Scan, the architectural plans of Gothic cathedrals are scanned with custom software made in Max/MSP/Jitter, revealing unique rhythms and organ-like timbres for each structure. In perfect synch with the sound, the scans visually reveal the plan, then fade away like smoke. This version, v.5, was prepared for live performance at Rustines Lab in Montreal. Prior versions of the Cathedral Scan project have included live performance, immersive installation and book publication. See the Archive for more info and clips.
[real-time video generated from stereo sound, 10m]
The second in the series of synthetic topologies created from sound. Like in ATS01, a recorded sound composition is used as raw material to synthesize visual sequences in real-time. The audio waveform is manipulated via laptop into abstract imagery, yet suggests representations of constantly shifting architecture and topology. Sound by Cory Allen. Created while in residency at Atlantic Center for the Arts in August 2008.
[real-time video generated from stereo sound, 6m]
ATS01: Wisp is the first in a series of experimental works exploring methods of directly transcoding audio signals into video signals. A taped sound piece provides source data for a video synthesizer created in Max/MSP/Jitter. By increasing and decreasing the amount of light received by a single photocell sensor, which inputs data into the software via an Arduino microcontroller, a number of variables are manipulated. The resulting real-time video signal invokes geographic and architectural imagery, moulded by scanning movements of the sound waveform. The synthesized topography becomes a residue of the waveform, decaying into wisps.
[single-channel video and stereo sound, 16m24s]
Viewing Fuji was shot at the peak of Mt. Takao, a popular destination in western Tokyo known for its view of Japan’s highest mountain, Mt. Fuji. In various shots of the Takao summit, hikers and daytrippers are seen looking at Mt. Fuji in the distance, sometimes taking a photograph. The slow-motion footage and the meditative audio emphasize the contrast between the eternal spirit attributed to Mt. Fuji and the relative eyeblink of time taken in viewing it.