"Steina" for violin, and live generated electronics, video and laser
Composed in 2015 by Marko Ciciliani
Performed by Barbara Lüneburg
Duration: 28 Minutes 30 Seconds
Recording assistance: Davide Gagliardi
Steadycam: Nick Acorne
In STEINA I am using a number of disparate elements: a solo violin, electronic sound generation, and live generated visuals in the form of video and laser.
The latter is primarily known as a rather spectacular medium. However, in this work I was primarily interested in using it as a rather restraint element, as a pencil drawing that is positioned in contrast to the video, which takes on painting-like qualities.
For me, a fascinating side of laser is its almost corporeal quality. Obviously, light is always ephemeral, but the intensity of laser often evokes the impression as if it would be possible to touch and hold it.
The exploration of corporeality is a reoccuring theme in this work. It manifests in the acoustic properties of the violin, which can be felt especially when played in extreme ways, as for example high registers or harshly struck double stops. Although the violin part often asks for a beautiful tone in the classical sense, the instrument is also often brought to states of sonic instabilities.
This is the point where the electronics connect with the instrument. They are entirely designed with chaotic oscillators (Lorenz attractors and Gingerbreadman mappings), that tend to behave in unstable ways, although a certain control can nevertheless be achieved.
Although the video predominantly looks like an abstract painting, it is entirely live-generated from images taken during the performance of the violinist. Here the theme of the corporeality returns, which, at certain moments also becomes recognizable in the video as a point of reference. At certain moments also the laser tracks the silhouette of the performer and blends them with more abstract shapes.
In this multimedia work I was not looking for a homogenous fusion of the individual elements. Rather, they are presenting an arrangement in the space in which they retain a certain independence, sometimes even conflicting with each other. The violinist uses altogether three playing positions and thereby navigates between the visual elements.
The title Steina refers to video pioneer and violinist Steina Vasulka who's early performance works for violin and live-video formed a conceptual point of reference, and a point of personal admiration.
This work has been supported by the Austrian SKE Fund. It has been written for Barbara Lüneburg
"Audiodromo" for four percussionists, live-electronics, live-video and lighting by Marko Ciciliani (2016) is a game based work written for the Basel-based percussion group Ensemble This | Ensemble That.
It has been premiered in April 2016 in Basel. This recording is from the second performance which took place in November 2016 as part of the artistic research project GAPPP (gappp.net).
It has been performed by Bastian Pfefferli, Miguel Angel Garcia Martinez, Victor Barcelo and – as guest – Barbara Lüneburg.
"Audiodromo" was commissioned by Ensemble This | Ensemble That
"Via" for live electronics, live video and lighting by Marko Ciciliani.
In this work for live-electronics, live-video and lighting the performer is entangled in a web of tight connections between sound and image. One of the dominating elements in the video are vertical and horizontal lines that are mirroring the motion of a train of sonic impulses. This motion is also reflected with an arrangement of lighting fixtures that cast moving shadows of the performer on the background of the performance area – again mirroring the motion of the lines on the video and the sonic impulses.
The otherwise immobile performer thereby becomes part of the visual arrangement. Furthermore, at certain points the contours of the performer's body become part of the video processing, turning the visualization into an extension of the instrument design that drives the piece.
Two underlying synthesis methods that are used in this work. One of them is scanline synthesis, which translates the pixel information from the screen into waveforms that can further be manipulated. This is graphically displayed by a 3D "wheel" that can be rotated by the performer and thereby causes interpolations between five different waveforms that have been gained by the pixel scanning.
The second is pattern-based synchronous grain synthesis, which is suitable to realize rhythmic patters when used at slow speeds, but which can also be accelerated, turning the rhythmic pattern into pitch information. Changes in the rhythmic organization of the pattern then result into timbral differences.
The basic material of the film comes from video recordings of road underpasses, viaducts and interstates in New Zealand and California.
Performed by Marko Ciciliani
Recorded at the Mumuth in Graz/Austria in July 2015
Special thanks to the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz
Recording Supervision: Andrés Gutierrez Martinez
Steady Cam: Nick Acorne