Composer Don Meyer and I have done two pieces together before this one and both times, I created the images on the basis of music composed and recorded by Don (vimeo.com/26782140 and vimeo.com/82828679).
But this time, I wanted to work differently, and I proposed to send Don a 6-minute silent movie, for which he would compose the music, but sent to him only one 30-second segment at a time, in chronological order (hence "12 x 30").
My idea was to apply, to the music composition, the process Philip Guston called "inherent composition."
This process or, more precisely, this "faith," presupposes that we don't have to have a view of the whole when we create a composition, be it music, painting or movie. It posits that there is "something" at work that "composes" the piece even if (especially if) we do not try to get an overall view of the project.
I have been working that way for decades (already with natural media, long before I started exploring "time-art" with digital means) and have seen countless times how founded this idea is, how reliable it is.
But, until now, I had never seen it applied to music I worked with/from/to (with composer Jean Derome, we came close to this when we made"Liaisons" nfb.ca/film/liaisons_fr, but that was not as deliberate as in this piece with Don Meyer).
So Don started composing the music 30 seconds at a time, not knowing/seeing what would come next. But he did compose music that reached beyond the exact duration of silent images I was sending him and the miracle of "inherent composition" took place again: often the music Don composed "blind" (hence the title) would work amazingly well with images he had not yet seen.
Time after time.
Except when we started nearing the end of the six minutes, then the magic nearly disappeared!
Don (his words) was "trying to wrap up the music" knowing we were then a few segments away from the 6-minute mark.
We talked about it and he agreed to reconsider how he had approached the music when he felt the end coming up (a bit like a horse coming back to its stable?;-), and to only compose for the silent images I was sending him, maybe still reaching beyond their duration, but not attempting to wrap up the piece whatsoever.
And the miracle came back!
And if Don reached way beyond the 6-minute mark with his music, the "excess" will not go to waste, it will give us the opportunity to create "part 2" of this piece, or a piece that will completely stand on its own (we'll see).
Finally, please keep in mind that the original images were created in HD 1080p, in Final Cut Pro X (Apple ProRes 422 HQ). What you see here is brought down to 720p, first in a decent quality h.264 conversion, then in a further conversion by Vimeo.
Much is lost in the conversions.
Festival ready (digital file, HD 1080p, Apple ProRes 422 HQ or h.264)
Update: Don and I made “part 2” of this piece, visible here (more info in the notes): vimeo.com/150738079
Please consider supporting my work (VERY MUCH in need of support these days). You can make donations via PayPal, starting from here : vudici.net/movies/morphing.html#new123108 (this type of work receives very little help, if any, from the usual channels).