Vignette and Shiver

April 7th, 2010 | Filed under Abstracts

Vignette and Shiver

Vignette is part of a monodrama, Ophelia’s Gaze, structured as a reverie on Ophelia, the young girl portrayed in Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Natasha Trethewey?s collection, Bellocq?s Ophelia. The set of poems contains the imagined thoughts and perceptions of one of the young prostitutes photographed by E. J. Bellocq in 1912 who worked in a ?colored? brothel in the Storyville section of New Orleans. The aural-visual relationships in the composition unfold as a series of tableau using the consciousness of dreams, memories, and reveries described in French philosopher Gaston Bachelard?s last work, La PoÈtique de la RÈverie (1960). The text is sung and spoken by a soprano/narrator who encounters multiple reflections of her own image and the environment in which she exists or imagines. She interacts musically with a cellist and visually with her own images reflected in video ?mirrors.? Technology used in the performance include MaxMSP music processing language  and an interactive video motion capture system developed for this production. This video system consists of infrared light, motion-capture hardware combined with the Eyecon Motion Sensing software and Isadora Graphic Programming Environment.

Shiver is a dreamlike meditation on Ophelia, the main character in Natasha Trethewey?s poetry collection, Bellocq?s Ophelia. The poems contain the imagined thoughts and perceptions of one of the young prostitutes photographed by E. J. Bellocq in 1912 who worked in a brothel in the Storyville section of New Orleans. The aural relationships in my composition unfold as a tableau using the consciousness of dreams, memories, and reveries described in French philosopher Gaston Bachelard?s last work, La PoÈtique de la RÈverie (1960). The text is sung by a female soprano/narrator who encounters multiple reflections of her own image and the environment in which she exists or imagines.  Using IRCAM?s AudioSculpt sound analysis tools, the structure of all synthetic sounds in the work were based on a spectral analysis and resynthesis of the a female voice. Video was made by Isabelle Dehay from Nante, France. This work was commissioned by the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios in commemoration of its 50th anniversary celebration.

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