Visions of America: Amériques
Led by conductor laureate Esa-pekka Salonen, performed by Los Angeles Philharmonic
Duration: 25 Minutes
Rehearsal documentation from 6th of November, 2014
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
'The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s multimedia presentation of Edgard Varèse’s Amériques launched the new in/SIGHT series at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The presentation of Amériques was led by conductor laureate Esa-pekka Salonen and accompanied by Refik Anadol's site-specific architectural video installation, which was developed to illuminate and enhance the Varèse's composition and to activate the architecture of Walt Disney Concert Hall. The dynamic visual program created by Anadol uses custom-built algorithmic sound analysis to listen and respond to the music in real time, using architecture as a canvas and light as a material. Additionally, the movements of Salonen, as he conducts, will be captured by next generation Microsoft Kinect hardware and 3-D depth camera analysis to inform the visuals displayed. The result was a powerful and immersive experience for the audience that engaged their visual and auditory senses.'
Launching in/SIGHT – the LA Phil's groundbreaking series of concerts with video – this program embodies the vision of the New World as a place of unlimited artistic freedom. Amériques was the first musical piece that Varèse composed upon coming to New York and this project is fittingly the first site-specific audio-visual performance that I produce in the U.S. I approached this collaboration from the standpoint of a non-linear and ephemeral interaction between Salonen, Varèse, and me, and hope that I will be able to transform Varèse’s timeless musical fiction into an immersive visual medium through which a new kind of storytelling will occur. Rather than approaching this medium as a means of escape into some disembodied techno-utopian fantasy, this project sees itself as a means of return. It aims to facilitate a temporary release from our habitual perceptions and culturally biased assumptions about being in the world, and to enable us, however momentarily, to perceive our own stories and the stories around us freshly.
In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Anadol stated regarding this work, “ By highly inspiring from visual music and expanded cinema research, instead of creating a media screen, there will be a story inside the space. What happens if you add a video layer that speaks to the audience in a whole new experience? We're exploring the boundaries of what is real, what is physical, what is virtual…”
Finally, I would like to sincerely thank everyone who made this project possible. This project would never have been possible without the tremendous and generous support of Los Angeles Philharmonic, President and CEO Deborah Borda; Vice President of Artistic Planning Chad Smith; Artistic Administrator Meghan Martineau and Concert Operations Manager Taylor Saleeby. I would also like to thank for their open-handed support the University California, Los Angeles, Department of Media Arts’ faculty members, Microsoft Research, and Lili Cheng, Finally and specially I would like to thank Frank Gehry for his dreamful canvas and Esa-Pekka Salonen for his open-minded collaboration with me to discover “New Worlds”.
Video Artist: Refik Anadol
Artistic Management: Dave Hunt
Executive Producer: Efsun Erkilic
Senior Generative Designers: Sebastian Neitsch & Woeishi Lean
Senior 3D Designer: Raman K. Mustafa
Senior Animator: Simon Russell
Junior Animators: Bahadir Dagdelen, Michael Hsiu, Kian Khiaban, Toby Heinemann, Laurence Menor.
Research Assistant: Jarad Solomon
Video Documentation: Walter Diaz
A short movie by Pierre Clenet, Alejandro Diaz, Romain Mazevet and Stéphane Paccolat, made in Supinfocom Arles during our last year in 2013. Original music by Valentin Lafort.
// Synopsis //
This is the story of a house which escapes from its suburban foundations and sets off on an epic journey.
// Festival Awards and Selections //
- Best Computer Animated Short Film Award at Siggraph 2014
- 3rd Place Award Panam Anim 2013
- Special Mention from the jury Cut Out Festival Mexico 2014
- Festvial ASIFA Golden Award
- Cannes’s Cinéfondation 2014
- Siggraph 2014
- Siggraph Asia 2014
- 15th Animation Show of Shows
- Shelley Page's Eye Candy Show 2013
- International Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart 2014
- Bristol Encounters Festival 2013
- Panam-anim 2013
- Paris Courts-Devant 2013
- Villeurbanne 2013
- Rencontres Henri Langlois Poitiers 2013
- CutOut Festival 2013
- 5ème Festival Ciné-court animé de Roanne 2013
- Festival MONSTRA's 2014
- Festival Effets Stars
- Festival HAFF
- Festival FILMETS
- Future Film Festival
Prix Ars Electronica 2014, Honorary Mention. Awarded at Multivision 2014 for "The Best Music Interpretation".
Official Selection at Siggraph Asia 2014, Clermont-Ferrand, Anima Mundi, Encounters, Giffoni Experience, OIAF / LAIKA's salon des refusés, Animatou, Message to Man, Tous Courts / Motion +, Giraf, Future Shorts, Videoformes, ArtFutura...
Light Motif is conceived as a synaesthetic experience based on a visual transposition of Music for 18 Musicians – Section II, by the American composer Steve Reich. The ambition of the film is to cinematically capture the extraordinary life force that animates this essential work of contemporary music by offering a truly hypnotic experience where music can be “seen”.
The inspiration for the project stems from the relationship between music and the visual arts, illustrated by artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Oskar Fischinger, Norman McLaren or John Whitney. These works try to establish precise connections between sounds, shapes, colors and movements, to visually translate the concepts of rhythm, melody, harmony, pitch, timbre and intensity. Light Motif proposes applying the construction principles of Steve Reich’s compositions to visual language.
Rigorously architected, his compositions are based on the repetition of short melodic patterns subjected to the gradual processes of dephasing, lengthening pattern, rhythmic saturation and tonal changes. The result of these subtle variations in the repetitions is a sound texture in constant transformation. The listener passes progressively from a polyphonic perception to a global perception, from the perception of a discontinuous sound phenomenon to a continuous one. In Light Motif it is this perceptual phenomenon that is transcribed into images.
Procedural generation techniques are used to transpose the motifs and compositional processes into a semi-abstract visual form made of colored lights and geometric shapes.
Light Motif explores the possibilities of synergy between music and image through a subjective experience that can speak directly to the subconscious of the viewer.
Producer / Director / Editor / CG Supervisor: Frédéric Bonpapa
Music: Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians, Section II. Performed by Steve Reich and Musicians. Used by permission of Boosey & Hawkes UK Ltd.
Character Modeler: Eric Prebende
Character TD: Frédéric Bonpapa
Character Animators: Barthélémy Boirot, Frédéric Bonpapa, Mathilde Fabry, Romain Pamart
FX Animators: Olivier Barré, Frédéric Bonpapa, Jon Uriarte.
Shading / Lighting TD: Frédéric Bonpapa
Compositors: Frédéric Bonpapa, Jon Uriarte