|We showed short videos
(between 2 minutes and 9 minutes) on two
screens in our downstairs rooms. The videos ran continuously on both
screens, although we slipped around for some visitors.
The main screen showed some site-specific pieces made during our travels since 2012 plus a duet with Seàn Curran edited by DJ Flack. The other screen had six haiku-like silent video/moment poems, three pieces that were generated live by Isadora, projection software by Mark Coniglio at Troikatronix. and one documentation of a piece done in a projection environemt.
We also had some small video stills available for purchase for $10 with all proceeds going to the Roslindale Food Pantry.
The videos were, in the main, contemplative looks at the environment and our place in it. Occasionally, we did something goofy to amuse ourselves. Our background is in dance, but with one exception these were not dance videos. Dawn was the principal performer, appearing an all but one piece and in Burren Bagatelle appeared as more than one person. Seán Curran graciously appeared in a co-choregraphed duet with Dawn. Occasionally, bystanders made their way in.
We showed three new pieces
Luminous was shot on our terrace in Guadeloupe January, 2016. We learned a lot about shooting in the dark. The beautiful music was "Sublime" by Caleb Sampson and John Kusiak.
|Path was made in Marrakech, Morocco in
February, 2016. It was the walk back to our Riad. It was made with two
walk throughs, one with Dawn and one without. It is all about movement
and is our first foray into hand held camera as you can tell by the
non-verticalness of some of the stills. There is never a moment of
stillness until the end, so I put in four
photos to try to give the flavor. The lively music that helps drive the
piece forward is by John Holland, a colleague of Dawn's when she was at
Rock (in progress)
| This was the newest of the Isadora
generated pieces. The clip was made with an Iphone propped up at the
right end of the keyboard while the pianist played "Rockin Chair
Blues". The software listens to the various frequencies and responds in
various ways. Stephen is still tweaking the parameters.
|Memoire||06:39||Paris and Montigny sur Loing||France||2015|
|Corps et Terre||05:13||Castelnau de Montmiral, Tarn
|Les Escaliers||03:08||Menton||France|| 2013
More Details about the Main Screen
Mémoire 2015 6min39sec
Our Algerian poet friend, Malek Alloula, died unexpectedly in February, 2015. We wanted to make a video as an homage to him. His last poem, so prescient, is called Les Pluies du Miracle, (The Rains of the Miracle.) It speaks of a kind of human translucence…that at the end of life as we know it, we become the sky, the sunrise, the luminous colors of the dawn, etc. So Dawn wanted to create evanescent moments in the video. Some of Malek’s favorite places or things were the Canal St. Martin in Paris, chestnut trees, windows covered with gauze curtains, and the Eiffel Tower. These are reflected in our video.
Sadly, our composer friend, Evan Harlan, died the prior February. His music, also called Memoir (for D.S.) was perfect for this video. So this piece is really an homage to Evan also. They are both wonderful artists and human beings.
Path 2016 2min
This walk home, one of a series, takes place in Marrakesh. It is the product of clips of Dawn walking back to our B&B and a video Stephen shot as he did the walk by himself. As Stephen edited the two together the piece became a take on the dharma path where serenity and “monkey mind” compete with each other. A colleague of Dawn’s, John Holland, allowed us to use his music. Path is influenced by the work of a video artist, Johanna Vaude, that Stephen met in Paris when she was one of the caretakers for an Airbnb apartment that we were staying in. She makes high energy videos that inspired me to add action to the camera work and editing.
Irish Trilogy: 2013 12min47sec
Cottage is the only site-specific video in this series that we shot indoors. It was made in Liadain O’Donovan’s beautifully renovated stable in Kinvara, Ireland. The piece was inspired by the space and the furniture. The character seems to be remembering or looking for someone, perhaps like a Synge play where a husband or son has been lost at sea.
Burren Bagatelle was the trickiest piece to make. The watcher sees several different characters pop up out of the landscape, all of whom are played by Dawn. This feat required careful timing with the music, a fifty-foot cable with tiny monitor for Dawn to hear the music out behind the rocks, and countless hours of editing time for Stephen. The mysterious woman in white appears again at the end, watching the watcher.
Departure was made on a cold, windy day in the Burren. Moving slowly and smoothly was challenging under such conditions, as was shooting the video. Given how grumpy we both were, we were pleased that the piece came out as well as it did!
Corps et Terre (Body and Earth) 2013 5min13sec
Dawn wanted to make a piece that honored the workers of the grape harvest. We were invited to Domaine de la Tronque, an organic vineyard near Gaillac, France. At first Dawn worked with the vendangeurs (harvesters) for a few days and then abstracted some of their movements into choreography. She also became a mysterious vine lady and made another appearance as the woman in white. We chose to keep the French spoken on the job and at the table as the sonic environment for the piece. It is not necessary for the viewer to understand the language. We made another piece there, Vignette, that you can find on our website. We chose to show this one today as it is the more surreal and surprising of the two.
Luminous 2016 2min8sec
Shot under the full moon on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, Luminous is a short take on the connection between woman and moon.
Boschetto (Grove) 2013 3min59
Made on the same sabbatical trip as Irish Trilogy and Corps et Terre, Dawn also wanted to honor the workers in the olive harvest in Sicily. Here they were all men. Instead of using their movements as sources for choreography, we kept many clips of their actual work, threading them together with the woman in white walking down the row of olive trees. Watch also for a few mysterious appearances of a character in the olive trees. The music is a field recording by Alan Lomax of Sicilian workers, actually tuna fishing!
Les Escaliers (Stairways) 2013 3min9sec
The first in a series of pieces that Stephen wanted to make about walking “home.” This home was in the old city of Menton, France, on the Mediterranean coast, very close to Italy. The music is by Simon Kanzler, a young jazz musician whose CD opening party we later attended in Berlin.
Escaleras (Stairways) 2013 8min26sec
Set in Guanajuato, Mexico, our “home” this time was 300’ higher than the main part of town which sits at 6,500’ above sea level. Stephen likes to shoot at night. We shot one night all the clips from behind the walker going uphill, and second night from in front of the walker looking back. A third and fourth night, we shot all the “other character” moments, again played by Dawn, although Stephen has a four-second cameo role in this piece. The music is by Benjamín Félix Caignet with our next door neighbor, Kenny Kozol, on percussion.
|Silent Video/Movement Poems
|Haiku||02:44||Haystack, Deer Isle, ME||USA||2008
|Pool||02:22||Center at Westwood, MA||USA||2011
|Credits||00:44||for SVMPs above
|Generated Pieces and other Videos
|Seán & Dawn||05:43||Cambridge, MA||USA||2002
|Moon||09:00||Les Baux de Provence||France||2009|
|Tree||06:00||Haystack, Deer Isle, ME||USA||2009|
More Details about the Second Screen
In the kitchen
Six silent video/movement poems
That envision the human figure as an integrated, non-dominant part of Nature.
These pieces are slow and contemplative. Relax!
Haiku 2008 2min55sec
This was the first, made during an annual visit to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts with a group of MassArt students and faculty. There we were able to project the piece on a huge rock face whose texture helped mask the figure. In most situations, we do not have a boulder to project on, so Dawn took a photo of that rock face, and Stephen overlaid it on the video to create a similar textural effect.
Shunko-In 3min12sec, Taizo-In 2min55sec, and Honen-In 4min42sec 2010
They were made during a three-week visit to Kyoto, Japan. A grant in honor of the Boston-Kyoto sister city anniversary helped us travel there. After six months of email exchanges, several people both here and in Kyoto enabled us to visit these three temple gardens to make video/performance pieces there. It was a particular challenge because a Zen garden is already highly designed so deciding how to move in those environments was different from inserting the human figure in a purely natural setting.
Pool 2010 2min34sec
It was a warm-up piece that we made in a Zen garden at the Center at Westwoods before going to Japan. Although the human figure is much larger in Pool than in the Kyoto pieces, it is still highly integrated with the environment. After making the video, we thought that the three scenes in the video reflected youth, maturity, and death.
Poesia Liguria 2011 2min8sec
It was made during an artist residency at the Bogliasco Foundation on the Ligurian coast of Italy. Of the six silent video/movement poems, perhaps this one conceals the human figure the most. Most of the piece was made on a day when the sea was rough. If the viewer watches carefully, he/she will notice that the last scene was made on a calm day, otherwise the figure in that last scene would have been completely inundated!
Seán & Dawn 2003 1min44sec
This is a humorous riff on friendship and walking rhythns, edited in DJFlack’s (Antony Flackett) inimitable style. New York choreographer and friend, Seán Curran co-choreographed and performed the piece with Dawn. It is a short piece made from the video material that we used in a live performance called Walk In Progress.
Three Pieces made with Isadora,
video manipulation software from Troikatronix
by Stephen Buck
Moon 2012 9min
It started as playing with the software to make circular paths with mathematics that I remembered from high school. The path became an orbit, the circle became the moon with the addition of the moon and stars photographs. Dawn became the woman in the Moon using a short clip of her in the rocks. Different frequencies of the music change the elements of blur, rotation, zoom and the Dawn/Moon balance. The Music by Yuval Ron adds an element of mysteriousness and romance.
Tree 2012 5min30sec
This time I was playing with the kaleidoscope effect. Adding the clip of Dawn in the tree created a dark and mysterious forest. The addition of the dark music gives the piece an elegiac feeling. the software uses a random generator to change the starting point of the clip so the piece is never exactly the same when it is played.
Rock 2016 2min30sec
Markus sent me some recordings of his solo jazz improvs to listen to. He included this clip of Rockin the Blues that he recorded by setting his cellphone on the right side of the piano. I made it into Rock.
It is still a work in progress so I probably will make changes in it as the weekend goes along.
Documentation of Stage Work
Entanglement 2009 7min10sec
This is excerpted documentation of a live performance in a video-projection environment. Watch closely as the piece has a couple of surprises! The music was written for the piece by Katarina Miljkovic. The projections were made with Isadora.
Music and Other Links
Mémoire Memoir (for D.S.) http://www.evanharlan.com/
Malek Alloula https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malek_Alloula
Path Sea of Cold http://www.johnholland.ws/
Johanna Vaude http://www.johanna-vaude.com/
Cottage Dear Irish Boy http://www.eileenivers.com/
Burren Bagatelle The Miller of Drohan http://www.lunasa.ie/
Departure Port na Bpucai http://www.vallelymusic.com/index.htm
Corps et Terre Domaine de la Tronque http://www.domainelatronque.com/index.php
Luminous Sublime, Caleb Sampson https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Death-Rise-Fall-Leuchter/dp/B00003ZALX
Seán & Dawn DJ Flack http://www.djflack.com/
Boschetto Cialomi http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-italian-treasury-sicily-mw0000084343
Les Escaliers Shadows II, Simon Kanzler http://www.amazon.de
Escaleras Frutas Del Caney https://www.amazon.com/Frutas-Del-Caney-Jos-Amigos/
Moon Vartani http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/yuval8
Tree Sickness and Death http://www.cantaloupemusic.com/album.php?catno=037
Entanglement Katarina Miljkovic http://necmusic.edu/faculty/katarina-miljkovic
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