© 2008 by Robert Rich, BMI
Special thanks to Konrad Steiner and Paul Clipson, and to Dixie.
Robert Rich played MOTM modular, Korg Wavestation, Korg M3, Ensoniq ASR10, lap steel guitar, flutes, loops and effects.
This recording documents the audio portion of my collaboration with filmmaker Paul Clipson, a one hour performance with multiple projections and improvised music. We presented this event at the Camerawork Gallery in San Francisco, to a full house of about 80 people. The musical performance was unique and abstract, attempting to complement the shimmering organic flow of Paul's luminous imagery.
This convergence of media owes no small debt to Konrad Steiner, a respected filmmaker himself, and instigator of art-film occurrences in San Francisco through his organizations SF Cinematech and Kino 21. I met Konrad during college in the early 1980's. We would talk at length about the philosophies that informed different artists, musicians, and conceptual movements. We lost contact with each other for two decades. In the meantime, I made music and he made films. When we rediscovered each other, we found the same rapport and curiosity that we remembered from our student friendship. Soon after reconnecting, Konrad proposed that we attempt an event that uses live music and film together in an improvised merger. When he proposed Paul Clipson as the collaborating filmmaker, this event came together with natural ease.
Paul's films are difficult to describe. They shimmer and vibrate. They are both abstract and figurative at the same time. The camera moves slowly while the light moves quickly, burning and flashing brightly at times from the saturated grainy/smooth surface, to remind the viewer that the film itself has become the canvas, as the reflections of projected light act directly upon the retina.
During this performance I ventured into the chaotic realm of live feedback loops, using delays and modulation to build up clouds of re-circulating texture. This technique creates sonic structures that resemble slow arcs, growing and collapsing like organisms, or like melting glaciers. An implied harmonic cloud hovers at the edge of dissonance, much like the reflecting beams of color glancing from the films' vibrating multiple projections. The air is energized by the resonance of sound and light.