As a part of our ongoing partnership with the Grieg Academy in Bergen, Bit20 presents the music of Edgard Varèse and Frank Zappa this Saturday, 16th of Feb 2012 @ Bergen Kjøtt.
The centrepiece of this concert is the performance of “Déserts” by Edgard Varèse. This work has a unique place in its foray into unchartered sonic territory in its combination of acoustic sounds and electronic interludes.
But the piece has also a conceptual history. It was intended to be the soundtrack to a movie about deserts. Deserts in their physical form and as an aesthetic idea – wide open, unknown spaces to be explored.
As the original movie project never materialised, we had the idea to let a young video artist make a new movie for the score. We contacted young video artist Tolga Balci to create a visual interpretation of “Déserts”. Tomorrow, we will show his finished video live together with our performance of the work. Here is his text about the video:
So far we know that Varèse`s Déserts was born as a audio-visual project as it frequently mentioned from different sources.Some try outs of era directors such as Burgess Meredith did not suit with Varèse`s vision. So Varèse`s execution of project was without any visual participant. More currently we should also consider Bill Viola`s great work on Déserts. Here I will try a possibly applicable form of visual participation. Varèse`s notes and harmonic features do not have a conventional use and function as other composers in his zeitgeist. He demonstrated the sound within instruments potential timbre and composed timbres while projecting the sound -in correlation of pitches and overtones- to spatial dimension. He mentions, “my music is based on the motion of unrelated sound masses” made me aim to use visual material which is more clusters and swarms also relatively converging volumes of movements. There, the animation becoming sculptural forms of different textures of remote spaces. Also I used some of materials from Cold Coast Archive of Svalbard. The conceptual side of Déserts such as solitude in outer space, deserted abandoned zones and all connotations of vastness of desert somehow drags us to inner space of the mind: absolute loneliness where only creativity can remain. As nomadic tribes prefer to spread through plateaus and deserts of planetary landscape, they also preserve unique forms of life strategies that subtracts anything that may obstacles them on the way. Varèse himself was in his desert island, no remain of his early work because of his destruction. And yet what remains is a dozen of work that all stands unique and innovator.
Tolga Balci, 2013