Five films use a variety of techniques to explore the relationship between sound and place.
Meditation On Violence Maya Deren (US/ 1948 / 16mm/ 10mins) Playing out the movements of the Wu Tang ritual, Deren explores movement and sound in relation to space. Choa Li-Chi delivers a performance blurring beauty into violence, the Yin into the Yang, light into darkness.
YYAA Wojciech Bruszewski ( POL / 1973 / 16mm / 5mins ) The film’s semi-random editing technique provides the author with a five-minute long primal scream. A repeated change of the shot from a close-up to a semi close-up and vice versa is motiveless.
Musical Stairs Guy Sherwin (UK / 1977/16mm / 10mins) One of a series of films that uses soundtracks generated directly from their own imagery. The staircase is used specifically for the range of sounds it can produce. Tilting the camera up increases the number of steps included in the frame: the more steps, the higher the pitch of sound.
Beating The Bridges William Raban (UK / 1998 / video / 11mins) The Thames flows past the familiar landmarks at Chelsea, Westminster and the City, to the industrial flatlands beyond Dartford Bridge. The 30 bridges provide a range of acoustic space that is featured on the soundtrack by ambient reverb and a live percussion score by Paul Burwell.
Throw It Up And Let Them Sing Helen Petts (UK+NO / 2012 /video /30mins) This film explores the later years of Kurt Schwitters’ life and work through landscape, collage, sound and walking. Helen Petts travelled to Norway and the Lake District, following Schwitters’ journey into exile from Nazi Germany. In the spirit of Schwitters’ sound poetry, the film features leading experimental musicians Sylvia Hallett, Adam Bohman, Roger Turner and Phil Minton improvising with found objects and vocal sounds, creating a dialogue of sound and image.