Jun
28
2012
<em>Vertical Music (for twelve musicians filmed at high speed)</em>
 

R. Luke DuBois
Vertical Music (for twelve musicians filmed at high speed), 2012
HD video, landscape orientation
Black and white, stereo sound
45 min 47 sec
Edition of 6

Stockhausen once compared the recording of one version of an open form to a photograph of a bird in flight. We understand the picture as showing but one of a multitude of shapes the bird may take. But which is the artwork, the bird or the photograph? And which is the composition we are hearing, the abstract open form that we might intuit with the aid of score or program notes, or the realization on the fixed, carefully engineered recording?
-Jonathan Kramer, The Time of Music, 1988

Vertical Music is a video project that captures a live musical performance using high-speed recording equipment. Written for twelve players by DuBois, this 4.5 minute chamber piece was intended to be experienced at one tenth of its original speed. Inspired in part by Kramerʼs notion of virtual time or the subjective passing of time felt by a listener (versus absolute or linear clock time) the composition emphasizes nuance and gesture. Using a reduced grayscale palette and captured with a 300fps camera and high definition audio recording, the project provokes a discussion on the collapse of time that is inherent to any performance documentation. Questioning where the site of creativity is located in this experience, the work is also informed by Steve Reichʼs 1967 score for “Slow Motion Sound”, which was technologically impossible to realize at the time and proposed slowing down a recording without lowering its
pitch.

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