This project represents a fundamentally new approach to programming contemporary music and contemporary video art, beyond the gallery and beyond the concert hall. It gives contemporary composers and filmmakers a chance to exchange and collaborate within the dynamic of silent film.
The premiere of Shorts_Amorpha took 10 new short silent films out of the gallery and passed them over to 10 composers who composed brand new scores to accompany them. Shorts_Amorpha is a live performance event tapping into the dynamic of live performance in the cinema.
Unlike existing silent film festivals which focus on the past, this project brings contemporary artists work in film back into the cinema along with the music of contemporary composers.
Shorts Amorpha - premier 1st December 2011, 8:45pm @ The British Film Institute, London
Films were premiered with new scores for a combination of Viola, Cello, Clarinet, Oboe, Recorders, Percussion and Electronics.
Wash This Blood Clean - Styles/Payne
Trails (extract) - Kocher/Bisig
Falling From The Sky - Damon Lee
The premiere of Shorts_Amorpha featured music by; Dominic Murcott, Luke Styles, Christopher Mayo, Marc Yeats, Damon Lee, Alwyn Thomas Westbrooke, Philippe Kocher, Naomi Pinnock, Philip Venables and Yoav Pasovsky.
Films by; Pavla Sceranková, Jan Pfeiffer, Sebastian Schmidt, Daniel Bisig, Gabriela Lang, Damon Lee, Nicolas Wiese and Zoe Payne.
Papel Llumina, Filmmaker -Jan Pfeiffer, Composer - Dominic Murcott
The little figures in the second half of this short animation look like Mexicans to me so the rhythmic element of the music is loosely based on Mariachi. The title might mean ‘glowing paper’ or possibly ‘enlightened paper’.
Trails, Filmmaker - Daniel Bisig, Composer - Philippe Kocher.
To establish a strong aesthetic relation between the two media, music and film were created concurrently. Our approach was to base both music and imagery on similar formalisms, notably algorithms that simulate biological phenomena. This algorithmic ambivalence between natural and artificial processes is resumed musically and visually as concurrent layers of natural and synthetic instruments.
Everything Changes, Filmmaker - Pavla Sceranková, Composer - Naomi Pinnock
“Everything changes it is extraordinary how everything does change.” (Getrude Stein, Everybody’s Autobiography). After the death of her Grandfather, Pavla unearthed reams of Standard-8 footage that he had taken of his family, friends and surroundings. With the digitised versions, she has created a homage to the joyful beauty of a place and people she knew, but never experienced first hand. The music is my response to the everyday happiness that the film captures and to these forgotten memories.
Mill, Filmmaker - Nicolas Wiese, Composer - Yoav Pasovsky
This piece aims at vague collective associations derived from historical images of textile industry workers. How do we perceive these images today, considering our experience of mass media (image) consumption and temporal distance? How does the beholder observe himself and his associations? What happens to the reading of images under certain methods of processing and juxtaposition? The historical imagery is used non-metaphorically, it stands for nothing but for itself, and is being extended by various techniques such as collage, manual drawings and textural interweaving. These extensions can be perceived by the viewer either as suppressing the historical images, or as shedding new light on them. The music combines dry sounds of mechanics and machines with atmospheric and ambiguous musical patterns, and a live cello that merges with the concrete sounds and abstract tape music.
Dog with Pain, Filmmaker - Gabriela Lang, Composer - Alwyn Westbrooke
Dog with Pain’s “protagonist” is a purple figure against a black and turquoise background, its outlines deliberately blurred, rendering its movements peculiarly supple. The music is composed chiefly with this movement in mind, containing indistinct, continuous timbres, short impulses and oscillating figures, all mainly in a very hushed dynamic range. “Hushed” in a wider sense than simply “quiet”, since many of the timbres are audible only when played intensely . Conversely, some sounds that are normally produced loudly are required in a soft dynamic here. The resulting air of suppression in the timbre parallels the “pain” of the film’s title.
Falling From The Sky, Filmmaker/Composer - Damon Lee.
Night falls in the Nebraskan spring, and the sand hill cranes are on their way back from a day of feeding in the corn fields. This is one of the major animal migrations of the world. I used footage that I recorded there to generate a blue-dominated series of fluttering and ghostly images that corresponds loosely and intermittently with the musical score.
Wash this blood clean, Filmmaker – Zoe Josephine Payne, Composer - Luke Styles
Figures of madness, repetition and cleansing exchange and flow briefly before being washed away, from sight.
Farben Studie, Filmmaker - Sebastian Schmidt, Composer - Marc Yeats
Farben Studie, or colour study, created by Sebastian Schmidt in 2007, captured my attention immediately. Poetically filmed, the pace and poise of these moving images lent themselves wonderfully to the addition of music. My farben studie is not intended to be synchronised with this film; it is an independent piece of music than can exist away from the screen and does not need moving image to articulate its structure. However, the music was composed in response to the film and thereby has a connection to it. Farben studie follows a contour that relates in many ways to the unfolding of the images. However, the music amplifies and preempts some of the changes apparent in the film as well as resonating and accumulating some of the stresses and contrasts Schmidt uses to skilfully pace his own work.
Smoke, Filmmaker - Jan Pfeiffer, Composer - Chris Mayo
All I can do now is pray to God that…
...I can stop this from ever happening again.
I don't know.
Maybe they just ought to leave it the way it is.
A kind of shrine to all the bullshit in the world.
You know, we were lucky tonight.
Body count's less than 200.
You know, one of these days, they’re gonna kill 10,000 in one of these firetraps.
And I’m gonna keep eating smoke and bringing out bodies...
...until somebody asks us...
...how to build them.
You know where to reach me.
So long, architect.
From 2001 – 2005 he worked at the University of Design Hannover and the Landesmuseum Hannover, this work included the „Interaktiver Museumsrundgang“ project as well as support for final year Diploma students in the areas of audio and Video/3D.
Since 2005 Sebastian has studied musicology and music informatics at the University of Music Karlsruhe and the University Karlsruhe. During this time he has produced numerous works that combine visual mediums with contemporary music, This has included close work with the composers Paulo Ferriera Lopes, Luke Styles, Rita Torres and Daniel Dominguez.? Since 2008 Sebastian has been working as a masters student studying both music informatics at the University of Music Karlsruhe and cognitive science at the University Freiburg.
Since October 2010 Sebastian is PhD candidate at IMWI – Institute for Musicology and Music Informatics at the University of Music Karlsruhe, Germany
Pavla Sceranková born in 1980 in Košice, east Slovakia, undertook a Master of Art degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, receiving the prize of the Dean graduated in 2006, was awarded several scholarships among others DAAD stipendium in Tony Craggs studio at UDK Berlin in 2006, Pépinières européennes pour jeunes artistes in Cooperative Méduse in Quebec, Visegrad Artist Residency Program in FKSE in Budapest, took part at many solo and group shows, latest at the Prague Biennale, Trafo Gallery Budapest, Vienna Brot Kunsthalle, 3rd Moscow Biennale, twice being finalist of the Award for the best young artist in both Czech and Slovak Republic, was signed by Victoria Noorthoorn as one of the Best of 2010 in Artforum.
Nicolas Wiese, born 1976, is an Berlin based audiovisual artist and electroacoustic composer/performer. He studied design, illustration, sound art, sociology and philosophy in Hamburg and Berlin. Wiese creates works in various media and formats, for different contexts installation and spatial performance, contemporary electronic composition, relational music, graphic art, radio and experimental film. His audio works are being published by international labels and organisations, and there have been numerous broadcasts on public and nonprofit radio stations worldwide. http://nicolaswiese.com
Gabriela Lang studied psychology in Fribourg, Swizzerland. Became since 1981 a dancer, choreografer, multi-media-worker, actor. 2004 opening of her own theater-room in Karlsruhe-City. Gabriela Lang has made 70 theatre premiers since 1981. In 2000 she started to work on videodance, through this experiences she was attracted to cut her formerly choreographic works very strictly to small art_clips. Meanwhile she has a collection of 145 shortfilms, named gala_art_clips
Daniel Bisig was born in 1968 in Zürich, Switzerland. He holds a Master's degree in Natural Sciences and a PhD in Protein Crystallography, both from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He has taught web-design and worked as designer and programmer. In 2001, he joined the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich as a senior researcher. Since 2006, he has a research position at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) in Zurich. Daniel Bisig is also active as an artist in the intersecting fields of artificial life and generative art. Some of his works include MediaFlies, a swarm based audio and video recomposition software, Flowspace, an immersive environment for swarm based musical and visual compositions, and Cycles, a body video projection that blends natural and artificial properties.
Jan Pfeiffer works with the topic of man being part of a larger whole, of a structure, that exerts considerable influence over him. Jan observes and processes the way we look at the sky through the contours of surrounding streets, how we read books among the shadows cast by the former totalitarian buildings, how we build cities as if we were blind and how we create shortcuts across patches of park green because the network of sidewalks was not designed according to our true needs. He points at the fact that we are usually determined by something external yet we always have the chance to set out in our own direction. Karina Kottová
Zoë Josephine Payne is an Artist and Designer whose work encompasses drawing, animation and installation. Zoë graduated from Wimbledon College of Art with a 1st Class BA Hons in Design for Performance. Here, she developed an interest in hand-drawn film as an exploration of dramatic gesture and as performance in itself. ‘Wash this blood clean’ (2011) came out of a residency at the Royal Shakespeare Company, making live drawings from their Macbeth rehearsals. Zoë’s first hand-drawn film ‘Orpheus’ (2009) has been exhibited at the Courtauld Institute, Somerset House. As a designer she has worked with Shunt and the ICA and looks forward to designing for Ensemble Amorpha in 2012. www.zoejosephine.com
Damon Thomas Lee (b. 1975 in Lansing, Michigan), composer of instrumental, electro-acoustic, and multimedia works, is currently Professor of Digital Arts and Music Composition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has received a number of honors for his artistic and academic activities and his works have been shown in film festivals and museums worldwide.
Yoav Pasovsky was born in 1980 in Israel. He began playing the piano at an early age, and started composing shortly after.
In the following years he produced mainly electronic music. Since 2001 his creative focus shifted more and more towards acoustic music.
Pasovsky studied composition with Daniel Ott and Walter Zimmermann in the University of the Arts Berlin, where he is currently teaching. Pasovsky's works have been performed in numerous festivals in Europe (i.a. ISCM World New Music Days 2006), North America and Asia. He has worked with ensembles such as Ensemble Adapter, Ensemble U3, United Berlin, Red Light New Music, Asian Art Ensemble, Quartet New Generation, Ensemble Zafraan, and the Ensemble Modern Academy. Pasovsky was composer in residence of the spanish ensemble Taller Sonoro in 2008. Recepient of the Elsa-Neumann-Stipend 2011, Pasovsky's music will be featured at the Munich Biennale 2012 and at the Donaueschingen Music Festival 2012.
Philippe Kocher (born 1973) studied piano, electroacoustic music, music theory, and composition in Zurich, Basel and London. His work encompasses pieces for instruments and voice with or without electronics. His interest lies both in electronic and instrumental music. As means for sound and score synthesis, the computer has become his most important instrument in both fields. At the present time Philippe is working at the Institute for Computermusic and Sound Technology (ICST) in Zurich as researcher and software developer as well as at the Zurich University of the Arts as lecturer for music theory and computer aided composition.
Christopher Mayo is a Canadian composer living and working in London. He was the recipient of the ECM+ Génération 2010 Audience Prize, the RPS Composition prize and a SOCAN Award for Young Composers. As a member of the Camberwell Composers’ Collective, Christopher was New Music Associate at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge for 2008-2010.
Recent projects include works for Carnegie Hall, the LSO, the BBCSO, ACME and L’arsenale at the 2011 MATA Festival, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and ECM+.
Upcoming projects include new works for cellist Oliver Coates, Canadian pianist Benoît Gagnon and the 2012 Marrakech Biennale.
Dominic Murcott is a London based composer and percussionist who creates pieces that combine electronics with acoustic instruments, often with film. He is also Head of Composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Among other projects he is a member of veteran art-pop band The High Llamas and is an authority on the music of Conlon Nancarrow, about whom he curating an international festival and conference at the Southbank in April 2012.
Born in 1982, New Zealand composer Alwyn Westbrooke studied violin and composition in Christchurch, New Zealand, before heading to Germany in 2003 to further his Dresden, later studying composition under Wolfgang Rihm in Karlsruhe. During this time, he was also a contract player with the Dresden Philharmonic. Alongside his freelance composing, he is a member of three German ensembles for contemporary music. His œuvre encompasses orchestral, chamber, ensemble, vocal and film music. His works have been performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Austrian TonkünstlerEnsemble, and he was featured composer on the Saguaro Piano Trio’s 2011 tour of New Zealand.
Marc Yeats is a composer and visual artist. His uncompromising music has been performed, commissioned and broadcast around the world. He has worked with many distinguished performers, ensembles and musicians including Psappha, the London Sinfonietta, the Endymion Ensemble, Paragon Ensemble, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Tokyo City Philharmonic and Gewandhaus Radio Orchestra, among others..
In April 2010, Marc was appointed Composer-in-Association with Manchester Pride.
Marc is currently working on two major commissions: SATSYMPH: 'On a Theme of Hermes', a geo-located, interactive ensemble work available through iphone app for spring 2012 and STURZSTROM for massed voices as part of Coastal Voices and the 2012 Cultural Olympiad in Weymouth and Portland.
Naomi Pinnock (born 1979) comes from Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire. She studied in London at King’s College London with Harrison Birtwistle, at the Royal Academy of Music with Brian Elias, and with Wolfgang Rihm at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe.
Pinnock has received, amongst others, commissions and performances at/from the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, ECLAT Festival Stuttgart, Heidelberger Frühling Festival, ZKM Karlsruhe, Festival Musica Strasbourg, Festival les Musiques Marseille, Spitalfields Festival London, London Sinfonietta, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Ensemble Linea and Rambert Dance Company. In 2010 she was the winner of the Berlin-Rheinsberger Kompositionspreis.
Luke Styles is a UK based composer, working as the Glyndebourne Young Composer in Residence, director of Ensemble Amorpha and teaching at the Trinity Laban Junior Conservatoire of Music and Dance. He has studied in UK and on the continent with the composers Detlev Müller-Siemens, Wolfgang Rihm, George Benjamin and Michael Finnissy. Luke’s music has been played throughout the world on radio and at festivals such as the, Wien Modern, Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music, and HCMF amongst others.
Philip Venables. My music has been described as “brutally effective” (The Times), “gritty, soulful” (The Strad), “theatrical”, “intensely dramatic” and “cinematic”, and “driven through with a powerful sense of drama”. Performers of my music include the BBCSO, BBC Philharmonic, LSO, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble 10-10, Endymion, LUX Ensemble (Austria), Duke Quartet, BBC Singers, Black Dyke Brass Band and Rambert Dance Company. I was born in Chester in 1979. Now I live in Berlin and London. I studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at Cambridge University. I’m the Artistic Director of Endymion and I founded/direct the fourfortytwo agency. These days I’m interested in violence, politics and speech in music. http://www.philipvenables.com