Tuesday, July 3, 2007

a crowd

Two very interesting things today, first I learned to solder and began to assemble my Theremin. What and Why you might ask? Well, the what can be found by the link above. The why is related to a project I'm working on called "Modern" which is a series of silent films based upon Modern art. I've been very interested in the notion of "modern" in that it refers to a movement in art that was very important throughout the 20th century (dates will certainly vary depending upon who you talk to) but that it is a movement that has become outdated and old fashioned. However, the label of "modern" remains with it and, for all I know, my stick for centuries. With my films, I create nice, clean modern-esque animated images such as colour fields and lines using computer animation, then I transfer the video to film and process it roughly by hand to demonstrate the decay that has overcome this artwork over the past few decades. To accompany screenings of this work, I have been looking for a variety of music but most of all, I'd like to include the sound from the Theremin. It is a truly 20th century instrument. It is unlike anything from previous times as it is played by moving your hands through the air near it. The Moog synthesizer was based upon the principles of the Theremin but corrupted the purity of the design by integrating the electronics with a keyboard interface so that the playing of it would not be so foreign to classically trained musicians. The electric guitar is similarly new but based on older interfaces. I say that the Theremin alone is the instrument that epitomizes the modernist objectives of purity of form. Therefore, I wish to have my films accompanied, at times, by the music of the Theremin. Only problem is, these are not manufactured but need to be build from kits. I ordered and received a kit a few months ago but it has required the sabbatical to give me the time to start working on it.

The second event of the day is experiencing the first complete run through of the storyboards for Sisu, the film project to be shot this summer by Chrystene Ells. Her husband Raul did the 600 or so panels based upon the script and upon ideas discussed by him, Chrystene, and myself over the past couple of months. It was some stellar work and the project is very close to ready. If the actual performances are at least as good at the charcoal style still drawings and Raul's stiff reading of the text, then there won't be a dry eye in the house. At least one person was in tears just during this reading, but since she came with me and she's downstairs in her pajamas, I'd better not say who she was.

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