Monday, May 15, 2006

OK, still slow...

I received Henry Gwiazda's "She's walking...." for review last week, an animated DVD with soundtrack. Pretty fascinating stuff, though it takes a bit of getting into as the animation is of the type that I think of as "generic computerized", but it's probably more than that. In any case, Gwiazda focusses on very small, "insignificant" everyday events--a woman's hand moving a coffee cup, say or various small movements of the head and hands during conversation or the play of light on a wall--and views them from four different angles/distances, then recapitulates the scene from a single point of view. Only a select few portions of a scene would move at a given moment; the rest remained static. By having the viewer concentrate on these events that might otherwise go unobserved the first time through, they're automatically registered in one's consciousness on second viewing, enabling a far richer experience than likely would have been achieved otherwise. Additionally, Gwiazda uses sounds, generally recorded in the field. They often, but not always, sync up with visually depicted action but never, as far as I can remember, match action-to-sound. For instance, a person might open a door and you hear birds singing or a truck passing. There are three "episodes". I found myself getting more and more drawn in as the disc progressed, glimpsing the logic of the sound placement little by little and gaining a great appreciation of Gwiazda's choices insofar as what he found "important" in a given scene.

I was reminded of a dance performance I'd seen way back in about 1978 at Environ, by a troupe from Arizona. Their idea revolved around baseball and all the tiny, "minor" movements a player makes during a game. So they stand there, fairly still, occasionally twitching a glove, adjusting a crotch, changing weight distribution from one foot to another. There'd be a brief flurry of game activity then a settling back down into small movements. This show has always stayed with me and not just because it concerned baseball (reason enough)--very beautiful concept.


Kenzaburo Oe - A Personal Matter
William Vollman - Europe Central


Keith Rowe/Toshimaru Nakamura - between (Erstwhile)
Saka Acquaye and his African Ensemble - Ghana High-Life
Java Court Gamelan, Vol. I (Nonesuch)
Pimmon - Secret Sleeping Birds (Sirr)
Terry Riley - You're No Good (Organ of Corti)

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