2008. It's interesting to reflect back on this movie - made at a time when digital technologies for video on the desktop were really just starting. This was shot on High8 in Finland, Germany, Russia and Tasmania; composited in Berlin and Perth (Western Australia) using After Effects and Premiere on an 8200/9600/Mac G3 MT Tower running Mac OS 8.x - probably with about 64MB RAM. The video compression is awful - probably all Sorenson 1 - better than Cinepak, but the first that did VBR able to run on machines those days - it took forever to render and compress. Quite an adventure: perhaps the compression artefacting really is an aesthetic quality...funny, now I quite like it. The dawn of digital desktop video, all its faults, but it was possible, and that was amazing. The audio is all ADAT/PCM digital.
"High-rez" version sometime in the future.
The Video & Text - Peter Morse
The text is inspired by Heinrich von Kleist, Clemens Brentano and Ludwig Achim's `Verschiedene Empfindungen vor einer Seelandschaft von Friedrich, worauf ein Kapuziner' (published in the Berliner Abendblätter, 13 October 1810), and the poetry of Rilke. It is a set of meditations upon the role of the Rückenfigur (reversed figure/turned-away figure) in Caspar David Friedrich's work (specifically the Capuchin monk gazing over the sea in Friedrich's `Monk am Meer'(1809) in this instance) and the notion of depersonalisation as effected by viewing such works and/or the sublime in nature. The paintings of Friedrich were filmed in the original at Schloß Charlottenburg (Berlin) and the Hermitage (St. Petersburg). The visuals include several shots taken at the very places where Friedrich painted (e.g. on the island of Rügen on the Baltic coast), as well as footage shot in Tasmania's mountainous South-West region. The idea behind this was to draw attention to the similarity of much Northern Romantic painting and nineteenth-century views of the Australian landscape. Reconstructing these types of images within a video medium demanded an authenticity of source material, recuperating the historical facts of these ways of looking at landscape and the various tropes of romantic vision that they embody.
The Music - Glenn Rogers
The idea behind `The Mount' was to emulate the sense of romantic yearning so prevalent in nineteenth-century music. Although, late in the twentieth century, certain aspects of romanticism have been treated with irony or distain, this piece attempts to recuperate some of these sentiments without becoming mired in cliché. The form is ternary and the harmony, tempo and melodic content is all quite slow moving. For instance, the harmony is very slow to move away from the tonic key, so as to create a sense of expectation. The harmonic extensions and suspensions also give a sense of delayed resolution and anticipation. In these respects the music contains references to Wagner, Mahler and, more contemporarily, Gorecki.
Glenn Rogers, Composer/Musician:
Glenn Rogers is a highly regarded Western Australian musician and composer. He has written a number of works for ensemble and operatic performance as well as performing as a guitarist with the W.A. Symphony Orchestra and his own Latin-fusion band `Del Fuego.' He has released several audio CDs of his own compositions and ensemble work with a variety of performers.
Alistair Dudfield, Audio Producer:
Alistair Dudfield is an accomplished musician, composer and audio producer.
Andrew Foote, Baritone:
Western Australian-based baritone Andrew Foote is a regular guest artist with all the major musical and theatrical companies in WA, as well as a frequent broadcaster for ABC Fine Music and freelance principal artist for Opera Australia and West Australian Opera throughout Australia.
Penelope Reynolds, Soprano:
Penelope Reynolds is a graduate of the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music and most recently the University of New Mexico, where she attained a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance. She has performed widely overseas and is currently a member of the West Australian Opera Company for whom she performs regularly.
Samantha Podeú, Soprano:
Samantha Podeú is a free-lance soprano. She performs regularly with the Custard Divas, her own ensemble and in a solo capacity. She writes original material and is interested in fusing operatic singing techniques with contemporary dance music.
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