Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Sequences - Composition of Vespers

The systematic basis of many of the things that I make, or indeed that I analyse, comes down to determining sequences (of numbers, usually).

When I analyse another artist's work, I will normally be satisfied when I have worked out a sequence on which that work is based, as you may see if you look at some of my earlier posts. See for example my description of Mary Martin's Inversions.

Where do sequences arise in things that I make? Video is a good example. When making a video, one takes clips and arranges them in sequence. Audio too. Clips are arranged in sequences. In this short video (Vespers) there are three visual clips arranged in sequence and four audio clips.

Looking into the clips, we see that the internal structure is also arranged by sequences. The black marks and the white blocks in the video are a sequence. That sequence is matched by the sequence of tones in the audio. For example the piano tones are related in pitch, duration and attack to the four painted black marks. The clicking is proportional to the white blocks.

These sequences have a simple mathematical formulation.

There is another audio sequence, which I have left in even though it is not in synch at the moment. You can hear a swish made by the blinds that cause the shadows. That swish has been set to a slow but regular beat, rather than to the actual movement of the curtains. At the moment it neither matches the visual movement nor the beat of the audio track. I want it to be there, but I am not happy with it at the moment. I'll probably fiddle with that a bit more.

The point is that, as I designed this work, my notes comprised sequences of numbers representing components such as the duration of what you see or hear, or the relative positioning of marks and objects in the image. These sequences are (mostly) carefully adjusted so that a degree of synchronisation and balance is achieved.

This is a work in progress.