The Light and Shadow Salon
AN EVENING OF MOVING IMAGE AND IDEAS
SOUND AND VISION curated by Chiara Ambrosio and Flux Soup
Doors open at 7:30pm, programme begins at 8pm sharp
(£5 entry on the door)
Sound and vision shape our experience of the world. They lead us on multidimensional journeys, allowing us to travel far and wide while staying perfectly still. Images are indelibly permeated by the sounds we hear when viewing them, while sound sparks images in our minds that are as vivid as the ones produced by light bouncing off surfaces. Sound and vision are our tools not only to know the world, but also to imagine it anew, shape and mold it, conjure into existence our dreams and nightmares.
Tonight we explore the interaction between sound and vision, and look at this relationship from both sides of the spectrum.
PART I- THE SOUND OF VISION
pig7 present their live score to classic silent film “Menilmontant”
Written, Produced and Directed by Dimitri Korsanoff in 1924 and released in 1926, “Menilmontant” takes its name from the Paris district of the same name. In it Korsanoff used many pioneering film techniques such as hand held camera shots, close ups, double exposure and superimpositions. The film has no intertitles and most of the action is shot on the streets and alleys of Ménilmontant. The film even today feels modern due to its daring editing style. Ménilmontant is a remarkable film, bearing in mind the filmmaker had no real budget and considering the equipment that was available in 1924.
“A Postcard from Margate” a short film by Chiara Ambrosio, with a live score by Bird Radio
A short visual exploration of a place in time, and of how live sound can extract, expand and re-compose the narrative threads of the moving image into new choreographies of meaning and memory.
PART II- THE VISIONS OF SOUND
A very special listening session in the dark of Matti Bye’s album “Bethanien”
“It began in 2010. If you were anywhere near Oranienstraße, you may have heard it as it traveled through the hallways of a Kreuzberg artist residence once used as a hospital, as it passed you by and continued across the canal, along the piers. The sound of Matti Bye carefully pressing the keys of an old grand piano. Its singing tones taking flight for all of Kreuzberg to hear. Illuminated by the stars of a clear winter sky. Illuminated by the beams of a scorching summer sun. Kreuzberg wasn’t always like this. In 1847, Kreuzberg’s Bethanien hospital opened its doors to the public. If you didn’t know better, you may have gone there for medical treatment. If you didn’t know better, that is. Most did. If the sight of the makeshift, outdoor operating tables didn’t change your mind, maybe a perfectly rational fear of infection did. If you still, despite even the notion of contracting some new disease, chose to enter, being denied treatment was still a possible out. Not because you weren’t in need, but rather to teach you a lesson. A lesson of patience. Bethanien hospital was not one of repute. In an otherwise war-torn Berlin, Bethanien was somehow spared. This, however, did little to improve its reputation. By the 1970s, the hospital yard had been taken over by squatters. The hospital itself was no longer in use and, in time, it developed into an artist residence. It ended in 2013. Finally, the sound of Matti Bye playing his grand piano was captured. Gently accompanied by layers of shimmering, soaring soundscapes. Produced and tastefully engineered in the Wiener Futurismo studio by Joel Danell. The result is soulful, haunting and melodic. Matti Bye’s Bethanien takes you, the listener, on a lyrical journey into the world of dreams and illusions.”
ABOUT THE PERFOMERS/ CONTRIBUTORS
pig7 Formed in 2006 pig7 are an experimental, improvisational electronics duo formed by Stuart Fisher (aka Genghis Attenborough) and Kevin Poulton. (They take their name from a business in Berlin that specialises in selling and repairing English motor bikes. It sounded like a good idea at the time.) They have been joined by other members including Professor Grant Fisher, Morris English, Adrian Crockford, Steptoe and Helen Bliss. Their music can be described as soundscape, dronescape, filmatic, ambient horror, spacerack, hambient, sconescrape, stonecrop with a hint of Cronenburg. They have a passion for slowed down voices eg. Judy Garland and Brian Cant, sudden bursts of accidental feedback and found sounds. They often use famous artists’ masterpieces and then rework them into their own strange world. Notable victims include Coldplay, ELO, Queen, Paul McCartney, James Last and Weather Report. pig7 have performed soundtracks to a number of films including: The Hunchbank of Notre Dame/ Night of the Living Dead/ The Red Shoes/ Theatre of Blood/ Ménilmontant/ Dummy/ Dune.
MATTI BYE Matti Bye (Born 1966) is widely considered as one of Sweden’s most important composers of film scores and an extraordinary performer with his own, incomparable style of improvisation on the piano. He is also widely recognized for having written a series of innovative scores for such early Swedish silent film classics as Phantom Carriage by Victor Sjöström, Häxan by Benjamin Christensen, and Gösta Berling Saga by Mauritz Stiller, now included on a 6 DVD box set released by Svensk Filmindustri, SF, as well as countless other silent films. Last year he wrote the score for Academy Award nominee Jan Troell’s latest feature Everlasting Moments and Stig Björkmans “Scenes from a playhouse” – a documentary about Ingmar Bergman. Matti Bye’s work is also concerned with the tension, which exists between moving image, sound and music. He has recently engaged with collaborative projects involving an esthetic and performative language proper to the contemporary visual arts. Beyond the medium, his work takes the viewer on a unique and lyrical journey of the world of dreams and illusions through a multi-sensorial experience of storytelling.
BIRD RADIO Bird Radio is multi-instrumentalist Mikey Kirkpatrick who performs and records original songs using vocals, guitars, flutes, loops, effects and a suitcase bass drum. Described on different occasions as “A mix of old testament preacher and Captain Beefheart…”, “a flute-toting, bass drum-beating sensation…” and “… future medieval, as if J.G. Ballard had written The Wicker Man”, Bird Radio draws from primordial folk, blues and ritualistic sound to create powerful songs that combine the ancient art of storytelling with rousing and hypnotic beats and rhythms.
CHIARA AMBROSIO Chiara is a filmmaker working with animation, experimental film, documentary and sound to explore the ways in which we perceive, remember, articulate and preserve personal and collective histories and place through the filter of memory and the imagination. Her work stems from an interest in the moving image as a tool through which to experiment with the boundaries of time and space, both conceptually and physically, re-enchanting the experience and perception of reality through an encounter between the poetics of the real and the erratic and subversive language of dream and the imagination. Sound and music play a crucial role, guiding and displacing the eye, allowing the viewer to engage with the manifold layers of interpretation of the real, erasing and magnifying tones and nuances, building up to a lyrical portrait of place at once objective and profoundly subjective, almost subliminal.
The Light & Shadow Salon is a place for artists, writers and audience to meet and share ideas about the past, present and future of the moving image in all its forms.
The Salon is a place for exchange, interaction and cross-pollination and it welcomes active contributions and interventions from all its participants.
The Salon endeavours to support a structured and informed dialogue around film, the moving image and all that it involves: from magic to science, from sound to the eye, from ritualism to storytelling, from myth-making to hypnosis.
The Salon intends to act as a temporary and ephemeral container for all the work, ideas and people with an independent, radical and idiosyncratic nature, who renounce to find a home in existing movements/institutions but rather embrace the nomadic and transitory nature of art.
The Salon supports individual thought, inquisitive minds and a desire to further knowledge through dialogue and exchange.
‘So when you hear yourself invited to ‘see’, it is not the sight of this eye (of the flesh) that I would have you think about. You have another eye within, much clearer that that one, an eye that looks at the past, the present, and the future all at once, which sheds the light and keenness of its vision over all things, which penetrates things hidden and searches into complexities, needing no other light by which to see all this, but seeing by the light that it possesses itself.’ (Hugh of St Victor)