ISIMERIES: ﾠ 1st FANTASIA Topos-2 or Paradise Has No Apple Tree paintings by Herman Blaut
This musical composition, in its original form, was based on a series of works by Herman Blaut entitled “Paradise Has No Apple-tree”, which were exhibited in 1992. The musical piece has kept the initial title to which I added the phrase “TOPOS-2” (“Topos” = “Location” / in Greek, thus, the meeting point of two artistic forms, back then: music / painting).
This music work was later used as a basis for work presented in the CD “MUSICA PRACTICA”. It was the starting point to develop a personal approach to music technology. Furthermore, it was an important step in my effort to create music that stemmed from the very nature of a painting, making up an inextricable organic entity (see text above). In September 1996, this music, composed for the works by Herman Blaut, and in direct association with them, formed the basis for the work done with Efi Tsolakidou.
My personal feeling for Blaut’s work, even back in 1992, revolved around a dream-like, purely “psychoanalytic” dimension.
These works are like a living fairy-tale, a whole pulsating world of figures, points, colors and symbols. So, I thought that my music should express this inner adventure of every artist during the course of their working.
(At the time I was reading a relevant and astounding study by Arnold Ehrenzweich, “The Hidden Order of Art”, a book that influenced me very much both as a person and as an artist).
Around this central concept I composed a musical piece that in its various parts freely corresponded to certain stages of the creative process itself.
The introduction, the empty frame in front of the painter when he starts. The stage presents a white level. The dancer, whose role corresponds to that of the painter, is standing aside. Dispersed high frequencies correspond to some first vague ideas the painter has. Certain slides are projected for split seconds, presenting the completed work in a “deja vu” manner, something like a glimpse from the future. The slides are implying that the artist already “contains” the future work as an inner vision. He just has to re-discovered while painting it, while “transferring” it to the external world.
A certain framework is shaped as the music acquires a rhythmic base. The artist loses his personal limits as the ego and time are annulled. The work of art becomes a bridge for “a dive inwards”. This is a necessary stage so that the work of art itself gets energy from the unconscious and is transformed from a still construction to a living creation. The dancer seems to be “exorcising” the tableau till, finally, she covers it with a black cloth (or a thin layer that separates the inner from the outer reality).
The artist experiences a sort of “ocean intoxication”. He becomes one with his memory, unifies inner and outer reality. Time loses its linearity. Sounds from children’s boxes and tins, bells, something akin to a child’s exercise with a repeated musical interval, distant sirens from an ambulance, persisting confused sounds, the sense of a world where the meanings of tragic, joy, naivety, tenderness, violence, seriousness, are concepts mixed in an perplexed whole. The dancer is at play. She builds houses with a pack of Tarot cards, just like a child weaves his/her own destiny. At the end, in a simple movement, she destroys whatever she has made. Just like a child casually breaks up his/her favorite toys. Some unfocused slides of the work of art are projected on the black cloth. The dancer remains on the whole indifferent. This inner journey is the price for the creation. The work is being “made” somewhere deep inside the artist, although he/she does not consciously know it.
The artist gradually comes back to the conscious level. Becomes aware of his inner journey and panics at the realization of this experience. He finds it difficult to assimilate it. The dancer is lost inside the black cloth just like the artist is caught between two different states of existence, the conscious and the unconscious.
THE WORK OF ART
The dancer discovers her face behind the black cloth. The work of art is projected as a slide, complete now, on the tableau. It has acquired a concrete existence in the outer world. The artist recognizes – and this is a tiring task – the work as his/her own overcoming doubts and the need to keep on refining it. The dancer is in total contact with the work, “lies” on the tableau, embraces it affectionately, “holds” it, consciously able to contain it, by now. The only thing that is visible is the work of art on the tableau and its creator, two entities completely united in One Whole.
ISIMERIES: ﾠ 2ndﾠ FANTASIA River Song paintings by Kate Theodorou
This music was originally composed in 1991 for an exhibition of works by painter Kate Kechaya-Theodorou. Back then, while looking for ways to relate my work as much as possible with fine-art works, I searched the works of the painter for elements that would form the basis for sound “tied to” these paintings.
A truly essential aspect in the case of Kate was the materials used. Leaves and flower petals in layers overlying each other, during the first period of the artist’s work, and colors (acrylics and oil) during her next period.
Finally, I discovered in her work many other things. A diffuse dominating sense of a sort of a very low and “deep echo” as if being in a huge hollow trunk; a “reverberation” of huge inner spaces; figures which emerged or disappeared if you were looking at a painting from a close or distant perspective; a deadly stillness in conflict with a truly vivacious movement; a vague religious sense, and, above all, a diffuse deep feeling for a world where tenderness magically coexists with violence.
Thus, various kinds of sounds were structured in the studio from samples (digitally processed sounds) working on them at various levels of processing. The sound sources were stones, gravel, pebbles and water. This sound material was complemented by two “pure” sound-colors: the oboe and the harp. The overall musical work incorporated certain themes from other, independent works of mine, appropriately varied.
In September 1996, this music, stemming from my work in close relation with the paintings of Kate Kechaya-Theodorou, formed the second core used while collaborating with Efi Tsolakidou.
Through our working together, this older music material, was further elaborated on. This has happened because Efi and I sought ways to relate as much as possible the paintings with the stage action and of course with the sound. Through various “tricks”, by modifying the music and, of course, through the choreography, we believe that the techniques and materials of Kate were finally appropriately underlined.
The role of the dancer corresponds to that of the painter (this motif is also used in the first Fantasia but in a totally different manner).
Two of the artist’s works are used on stage, representative of the two periods of her work in regards to the materials used, as this was considered a particularly important aspect.
A mingled world of sounds from pebbles, gravel, water; a cloth woven in earthy colors; a rock that gradually comes to life. The human being-artist emerges painfully, “creeping up” to reality. The sound of the oboe plays all possible scale intervals: the exercise, the practice, the trial of the emergence of the creator- artist. The dancer experiments with movement and stillness, “freezing” into a stone, to finally dive into a blue cloth, water, the eternal origin.
THE FIRST BEING
The water softens the stony human. Offers him/her the inner plasticity necessary for artistic creation. Gives him/her repeated, circular, incessant, undulating “movement”.
Sounds are clarified; there is the relationship between the artist and her material (leaves and flower petals in ayers); the dancer composes a surface with this material and portrays the extent reached by the artist through her medium.
THE SECOND BEING
That period is over and the next creative stage of the artist is in preparation. Within her everything become fluid, water-like; her “movement” is once again repeated, circular, incessant, undulating. Sounds are clarified once again. The dancer portrays the relationship of the painter with her new material (acrylics and oil) that offers her new possibilities in color and form.
However, this phase is over, too. The artist- creator is anxious, searching for her next expressive media. The dancer becomes for a while a “human-stone” and afterwards a fluid “creative being”, then again the same cycle, again and again. She is lost in the water, struggling with her “stony” and “fluid” natures, hoping that the water will offer her, once more, new expressive means within her artistic medium. Finally, she remains in limbo between the inner and the outer world; everything is possible: either a third human “entity” and her paintings will emerge or the artist-creator will be lost in her inner abyss.
ISIMERIES: ﾠ 3rdﾠ FANTASIA Puppet Dream paintings/puppet by Daisy Delliou
This Fantasia is quite different from the other two. Given the experience we had when we started out, this Fantasia portrays a more advanced form of the code of our work. This is because there was nothing ready beforehand to act as a basis; there was no concept from a work of art, no sound to express this idea.
I would say that this Fantasia promoted in a decisive manner the language of our creative communication, enhancing further the simultaneous composition of sound and movement.
For this part, we started with a main concept – “script” – related to the puppet and found some initial movement motifs. A piece from my third CD work “MUSICA PRACTICA”, suited to the central concept we had formed with our initial movement motifs. We gradually completed the sound by adding variations of other compositions of mine.
Furthermore, in this part, the fine art element does not stem from a series of paintings. It was the construction of a puppet as well as the shaping of images by Daisy who were later photographed and projected as slides. Demosthenes Fotiades played the violin in the first three musical parts. The sound material was then processed digitally.
The central concept has to do with the puppet, a symbol of the child’s universe, a place where inner and outer reality are experienced as an integrated sensation. This reflects the inner continuum of our personal sense of time and our own personal history contrasted to a fragmentary, void, dissociated adult life.
Of course, there are not good or bad solutions. It can be destructive to remain a child as well as it is destructive to become a sterilized adult. During life we have to be all the time both, we have to dynamically equalize our multiple natures, needs, tensions.
Finally, the invisible strings that are decisive for the puppet’s movements, symbolize the succumbing to a merciless external reality. (However, they could also portray self-limitation, a passive escapism to reminiscence when we give up and remain trapped in ourselves).
The dream of the puppet is to connect her pieces, to become a “whole” being, a child and an adult at the same time. This concept forms the basis of the “plot” of this Fantasia (regardless of the fact that the motifs of “dissociation” and “unification” are present in different forms in the other two Fantasias, too).
If we (the “puppet”) are successful in integrating our pieces, natures, tendencies, we may reach a very special state of personal growth. There, memory and dream not only don’t forbid our participation in external reality, but become means of actively shaping it.
There is a puppet and a dancer on stage, the two sides of the puppets dissociated nature. The dancer portrays the external dimension of the puppet, its relation to imaginary strings holding it. The puppet, its inner dimension, remains still, distant, dormant.
The dancer, perched on a chair, expresses her dream, her desire to become a whole. To fly, but she is not able to do so. On the floor there are scattered books, islands of memory. On the one hand they are a source of security, while, on the other, they set limitations.
The dancer, stepping only on the books, portraying a caricature of flying, approaches her other half, the puppet. The two images are united into one; the puppet becomes alive through the dancer, its inner and outer natures are united through this course over the islands of memory.
FIRST DREAM, LULLABY
The full version of the puppet (both the dancer and the effigy) dreaming, drifting in a fluid combination of the inner and the outer worlds. The first dream stems from the memory of some lullaby. This state carries on; the second dream is related to play, the origin of all creativity.
THIRD DREAM, ON A WING
Through the union of the puppet and the dancer and their two dreams, there comes a third dream portraying the other meaning of the word, that of desire. The puppet now can and wants to fly. Its expectations have become reality since the dancer is united with its inner dimension (the puppet) in one whole after they have embraced each other in their common dream.