This week I’ll be heading to Amsterdam as the WRENCH project makes its debut. Featuring eight original compositions inspired by the photographs of Edward Burtynsky, the performance will be “a tightly versed integration of sound and projected image”.
I found my way into this project through Sueng-Ah Oh, a composer I met at the MacDowell Colony. We only crossed paths for a few days, but it was enough to spark interest in each other’s work and 2 years later, we find our talents mutually beneficial! I have been creating the visual accompaniment to Seung-Ah’s piece Figures in Time. It has been thrilling to have access to Mr. Burtynsky’s Quarry Series photographs as the raw materials for my animation. I am impressed by the rigid geometric forms and linear divisions embedded in the massive rock forms. The deception of scale turns machinery and people into mere specks of texture in a photograph. My approach to the project has been to accentuate these elements through movement as a reminder of the human footprint which become part of the raw artistry of a landscape. Burtynsky’s photographs resonate with my belief that a pristine environment is not nearly so compelling as one that has symbiosis with humanity.
The premier of our work, along with the other compositions will be performed by Hexnut on May 22 in Amsterdam’s prestigious Muziekgebouw. I have been working with a recording of the composition, but since the actually performance will be live, we are both very curious (and nervous) about whether the synchronization will actually work. Hexnut plans to take the performance on tour throughout the Netherlands and Europe in the coming year.