Friday, September 30, 2005

The Reich Essay (which is too small to read, really)

Rate Change (multiplied)

Scanned to the computer, I layered the chart from the previous post, and shifted each layer one square to the left, creating a staggered effect. This reveals several more patterns which were not clear in the original chart.

1. I circled this because I thought the repeated ‘beats’ were interesting.
2. An interesting phase or syncing appears here. The beats have become bars, which are densely packed at the outside of the charts, around 4x-8x, then, with the higher numbers, spread out a little.
3. Here the mid-part of the chart is syncing back up again, more closely packed than at 2., and more uniformly spaced, a clear pattern is beginning to emerge.

Rate Change

Working on graph paper. If I begin with a beat every four squares, then add an extra square gap with each new line, I come out with the image above.

1. This early stage shows this increase on each successive line (I began to count down after reaching 12, as higher numbers were not necessary), forming an arrow shape, which is still recognisable, though a little stretched, on the second and third repeat, after which it breaks down into a random mass of beats.
2. At this point there’s a clear line across the bar with beats from the 4x, 5x, 6x, 10x and 12x lines. Looking around the bar, there are many points at which more than 5 lines intersect, yet with this figure (it would be 60 in the times table:4*15, 5*12, 6*10, etc.) there is a clear space around it which contains no beats.

NB. Perhaps in a film it could be this ‘60’ figure which could bring the disparate pieces of the work together at a regular pace.

3. Between the lines noted by 2. and 4. there is another flurry of beats which seem more ordered than the gap between the 1. and 2. markers,
4. and then another grouping of figures around the same area, not as precise as the grouping labelled 2. This group would be around 120. Again connected with the numbers noted at the 2. marker.

Obviously, the drawing resembles the times tables, between 4x and 12x. I only realised this after I had started the piece, as I had no interest in multiplication at the time. I should perhaps begin to integrate this with my work, through developing timing schemes to keep a track of loop patterns and changes. For example;

If I have a loop at full speed (I’ll call this 10x), and one at double speed (5x), they’ll sync up, after every second loop: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30. If on top of this I Put a loop at a much faster rate, say 3x, this will only sync up at point 15, and then, only with the 5x loop, again at 30, when it will sync with both the loops (which is when the round could stop).

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Summer Work

Since early August I have produced four trial videos, experimenting with various techniques and methods based around looped samples and altered timings. The images above are still from the latter three films showing machinery at work.

The first film is constructed from three copies of the same loop with various timings which change throughout the timeline of the piece. These timings remain related, so that each clip would eventually rejoin the other two (e.g. 2 clips run at 100% while the other runs at 200%. The faster loop will rejoin the others on it’s second repeat. Allowing me to decide whether to alter timings again, or leave for another 2 repeats). While at the time this afforded me the luxury of being able to alter timings whenever I saw fit. Looking back at the film it is clear that some structure is necessary to make the most of it. Currently the pace of clips changes so suddenly, and without any logic, that it looks messy and disordered.

The second film is constructed from a much longer loop (6 seconds?). Here there is only one frame, yet as the film develops pieces of the frame become out of sync with the remainder. Here I’ve layered the video, and cropped part of it, so that, when I alter the timing, it seems as if part of the original video has slowed down/sped up. This time, much more subtle alterations in the timings were used, so that the change is a gradual one. Perhaps the middle section of the video runs at 99.5% while the thin sliver next to it runs at 100.5%, losing sync much more slowly. As the clips drift further apart they shift in and out of sync with one another. This is not to say that they return to the original view of one machine, but are slowed to such a point that there is a staggered effect (one machine moves, then the second, and then the third), which dominates the visual and aural frame for a short time before slipping out of time again. In this film sound plays an important role as the shifts occur. An improvement needs to be made in the resolution of the film, at the moment a line shifts from right to left, wiping out the out-of-sync clips and leaving the original. Perhaps I could use keyframes to slowly re-compose the frame, bringing the disparate parts of it back together.

The third film developed from tests in the first two films. I have duplicated the clip, as in the first film, and begun layering it, as in the second. The top clip loops forwards, while the bottom loops backwards, suggesting a pendulum movement, and as this loops, gradually the density of the image is squared. So where there are only two clips to begin with (top and bottom) after a couple of revolutions there are four (2x top, 2x bottom), then eight (4xtop, 4x bottom), 16, 32, 64, etc. As each clip is multiplied the image becomes increasingly dense (and I’ve found it turning purple? From a clip that was in black and white). Until there is very little to see except a lot of noise and abstract shapes.

I consider this final film to be the least successful shown here, and have subsequently decided to concentrate on the theoretical side of the work for a while. Developing my compositional skills (compositional relating here to timeline composition rather than that of the frame or mise-en-scène) until I can decide, before I start, where each piece is going.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Day One/An Update

Broadband connected at the new house yesterday, so set up the blog today.
Summer work has progressed slowly (but it has progressed)!

Since early summer the new work I have done has centred arround ideas of repetition and increased mass/body. Composer Steve Reich especially his early works 'Come Out...' and 'It's Gonna Rain', yet also later pieces 'Clapping Music', 'Drumming' and 'Music for 18 Musicians' exert a lot of influence and inspiration. Other composers John Cage, La Monte Young, and Terry Riley also count, yet none have the loop of Reich, they're too busy loking for more.

Working with video and sound loops. Repeating + altering. It's a slow process, and one which I feel I am getting lost in. So an important factor in the next week is my need to sit down and think. About what I want to achieve with each piece (as currently I'm fiddling with each of the films, until they become nothing more than experiments in effects). Once I have this I can begin working again, and pushing it again.

Have also been finding my feet in Final Cut Pro. My understanding of this has come a long way since University finished for summer. Hopefully in the next few days I'll be able to have a few of the video's up on the blog (though I'm not too sure how I'll get them uploaded). Also some of the graphs/charts I'm working on, but if these don't work out, nobody'll ever see them.