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Old 02.16.2012, 10:57 PM   #1
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Official trailer for Steven Andrew Garcia's film, "TEXT OF LIGHT", starring Lee Ranaldo, Alan Licht, and Ulrich Krieger:
http://vimeo.com/11011871

"Text Of Light: An Ode To Stan Brakhage", also filmed by Steven Andrew Garcia. I assume it's a fragment from the film. Can't be sure, though:
http://vimeo.com/29352109

Both of these videos have been on vimeo for a while, but I haven't found any information about any future screenings, or the exact developments of this project. Steven Andrew Garcia is a filmmaker, and photographer. He has directed plenty of video clips for many indie bands such as Lucky Dragons, Mika Miko, Male Bonding, among others. he has made commercials for brands like Nike and Yahoo; and maybe you are familiar with some of his skateboarding films. He also has photographed a bunch of artists, including Lee Ranaldo:

 


His blog is located at:
http://brainsheer.blogspot.com/

His official website:
http://stalagmite.tv/Welcome.html

Plenty of information there about his projects, but certainly not much about this one in particular. If anyone does know something about it, please do share. Also, if I remember correctly, there were some marginal news a few years back in regards to one of his films, "Tombaugh and the Telescope", having an instrumental score composed and performed by Lee Ranaldo. I wonder if someone from here ever watched it, if it actually got screened.
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Old 02.17.2012, 04:23 AM   #2
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Some of Stan Brakhage's films were intended to be silent.
Sound can sometimes distract the viewer from experiencing images in a different light.

I'm sure that Lee has carefully thought about this and adds something new that Stan would've appreciated,
but let's not forget that his main objective was for us to learn to see again.
I'd love to know what Lee's thoughts are on this.

Thanks for those links, hipster.

Some interesting links about film and sound:
http://www.horschamp.qc.ca/new_offsc...nt_legacy.html
http://www.cinemonkeys.com/reni/silence.html
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Old 02.17.2012, 04:41 AM   #3
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Old 02.17.2012, 05:31 AM   #4
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Thank hbj and thanks Tokolosh too!
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Old 02.17.2012, 07:55 AM   #5
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I think Text of Light is really the only group that does this music and film sync any justice. Most acts that do this execute it horribly do not think enough about the contents or results.
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Old 02.17.2012, 03:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RanaldoNecro
I think Text of Light is really the only group that does this music and film sync any justice. Most acts that do this execute it horribly do not think enough about the contents or results.
That's a bit unfair for some other artists, like Lillevan (who has made some amazing work to accompany gorgeous musical pieces by Fennesz and Morton Subotnick, or so I've read); The Murder Of Crows (It must have been pretty swell to hear and see what they did over that creepy silent film, "The Penalty", subsequent performances were ace even if not related to any visual material at all), La Cellule d'Intervention Metamkine (I actually went to a live performance by them a few years ago, and thought it was brilliant), to name just a few. What about Lee Ranaldo & Leah Singer? I'd be crazy if I would consider either "Sight Unseen" or "Drift" horrible executions of film and music sync. Not that these are similar in many ways to Text Of Light, but I think my point still stands. Maybe your statement would make sense if you'd name some of those lesser, horrible acts?
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Old 02.17.2012, 09:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipster_bebop_junkie
Maybe your statement would make sense if you'd name some of those lesser, horrible acts?

I would never place myself by naming specific acts.

And I have never heard of those acts you mentioned but they sound interesting all of the same.
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Old 02.17.2012, 10:47 PM   #8
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Fine. Had you named Noveller, I would have neg-repped the shit out of you.
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Old 02.17.2012, 10:59 PM   #9
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from our ToL 'presskit'...
--L

TEXT OF LIGHT notes


Text of Light does not perform soundtracks to the films of Stan Brakhage. Rather it uses the film as a further element for improvisation, almost as a fifth (or sixth) performer. While Brakhage intended for these films to be screened silently as films, when framed in and of themselves in a movie theatre, in Text of Light presentations they are being juxtaposed with the music, in a kind of real-time performance, mixed-media collage. Any of the Text of Light performers may or may not be viewing the film as it unspools, and may or may not be reacting to what’s happening on screen—just as they may or may not be reacting to the sounds of any of the other individual performers. AMM used to loop the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” and improvise with the loop running, but they would not necessarily be “accompanying” the song, or even reacting to it. Derek Bailey would prepare a tape of silences broken by brief interludes of guitar and perform solo improvisations with it, never knowing exactly when the taped guitar would come in. Text of Light represents an extension of these free improvisational experiments into an intermedia environment. What is exciting is when certain members are engaged in a kind of dialogue with the film, and the others are just reacting to this, setting up a chain of events that is unique in audio/visual performance situations. Also of note is the role of records and the turntablist, which is crucial to Text of Light. The records, like the films, are “canned” documents that have already been carefully edited and prepared. The turntablist deconstructs them in any number of ways—changing playback speed, effects processing, scratching, skipping, looping. So in any given Text of Light performance, there is one fixed pre-recorded element unfolding without interference or variation in real time (the film), multiple pre-recorded elements that are manipulated and re-designed on the spot by a performer (the records), and multiple live elements are creating their own sounds and structures on the spot (the instrumentalists). The records bridge the gap between the predetermination of the film and the spontaneous composition of the instruments/instrumentalists.

The film’s running length is used as a frame for the duration of the improvisation (although commonly the improvisation lasts slightly longer than the running time of the film). Having this frame sets Text of Light apart from other free improvisational situations, in which the duration of any individual “piece” is not determined beforehand (although in a normal free improv concert situation, a standard concert length will be in mind, i.e. if you’ve played a 40 minute improv and then a 20 minute improv, you might stop or continue with only a short 5 or 10 minute piece). The cumulative result is a new chapter in the annals of free improvisation and mixed media.

—Alan Licht
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Old 02.18.2012, 12:29 PM   #10
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I was always under the impression that ToL's goal was to create an improvised soundtrack to accompany the images, because the film is the only element that's fixed. I obviously got it wrong.
Thanks for clearing that up.
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Old 02.19.2012, 08:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee is Free
from our ToL 'presskit'...
--L

TEXT OF LIGHT notes


Text of Light does not perform soundtracks to the films of Stan Brakhage. Rather it uses the film as a further element for improvisation, almost as a fifth (or sixth) performer. While Brakhage intended for these films to be screened silently as films, when framed in and of themselves in a movie theatre, in Text of Light presentations they are being juxtaposed with the music, in a kind of real-time performance, mixed-media collage. Any of the Text of Light performers may or may not be viewing the film as it unspools, and may or may not be reacting to what’s happening on screen—just as they may or may not be reacting to the sounds of any of the other individual performers. AMM used to loop the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” and improvise with the loop running, but they would not necessarily be “accompanying” the song, or even reacting to it. Derek Bailey would prepare a tape of silences broken by brief interludes of guitar and perform solo improvisations with it, never knowing exactly when the taped guitar would come in. Text of Light represents an extension of these free improvisational experiments into an intermedia environment. What is exciting is when certain members are engaged in a kind of dialogue with the film, and the others are just reacting to this, setting up a chain of events that is unique in audio/visual performance situations. Also of note is the role of records and the turntablist, which is crucial to Text of Light. The records, like the films, are “canned” documents that have already been carefully edited and prepared. The turntablist deconstructs them in any number of ways—changing playback speed, effects processing, scratching, skipping, looping. So in any given Text of Light performance, there is one fixed pre-recorded element unfolding without interference or variation in real time (the film), multiple pre-recorded elements that are manipulated and re-designed on the spot by a performer (the records), and multiple live elements are creating their own sounds and structures on the spot (the instrumentalists). The records bridge the gap between the predetermination of the film and the spontaneous composition of the instruments/instrumentalists.

The film’s running length is used as a frame for the duration of the improvisation (although commonly the improvisation lasts slightly longer than the running time of the film). Having this frame sets Text of Light apart from other free improvisational situations, in which the duration of any individual “piece” is not determined beforehand (although in a normal free improv concert situation, a standard concert length will be in mind, i.e. if you’ve played a 40 minute improv and then a 20 minute improv, you might stop or continue with only a short 5 or 10 minute piece). The cumulative result is a new chapter in the annals of free improvisation and mixed media.

—Alan Licht

I remember reading about this before, its nice to read about this concept again.

Not to change the subject but I never heard Derek Bailey playing along to prerecorded tape of himself with silent interludes, do any recordings exist of this? I do know at some point in the 90's he was really interested in electronic "break-beat" type music (i.e. jungle) and did that recording improvising along to pre-recorded beats and rhythms by DJ Ninj.

Oddly I've been working on a new concept that is similar to this Bailey technique where i have recorded my solo guitar improvisations then having it processed via a standalone MaxMSP program in realtime as i improvise on guitar with it.
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