Shadows and Reflections (2017, 41 mins)
Pt 1: Sounds of the Shadow (20’26)
Pt 2: Sounds of the Sun (20’46)
Shadows and Reflections develops from an audio-visual collaboration with the painter Andy Fullalove exhibited at Bradford Cathedral in October 2016. The exhibition comprised a series of fourteen paintings and soun that responded to the newly restore altarpiece by William Morris as well as the priceless stained glass windows in the Cathedral made my Morris’ company which include designs by Morris himself as well as Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Peter Marshall and Philip Webb. During the creative process we each exchanged sound and images on a regular basis, discussed work in progress but left each other to develop work independently.
In the composition process I was particularly drawn to the layering and textures of Fullalove’s paintings as well as their use of colour. I also found a correlation between the use of light in Fullalove’s paintings and the ways in which light streams through the stained glass windows of the cathedral providing coloured halos and auras around concrete architectural forms all around the building. I was particularly interested in the ways in which the quality of light imperceptibly changed within the building over time.
In the two parts of the work I wanted to induce a sense of mediation, contemplation and reflection. I wanted the sound to be constantly, though in some instances imperceptibly, changing so that one remained mindful of the music rather than allowing it to drift in to the periphery of one’s consciousness. I was reminded of Alan Wallace’s description of Samatha meditation as a “contemplative technology” designed to calm and stabilize the mind and to cultivate “attentional stability and vividness”. I intend the music of Shadows and Reflections to cultivate a similar state. For me, the focusing on a single organ timbre over an extended duration encourages a more attentive perception as the ear is drawn in to the micro-fluctuations within each of the extended phrases. One’s sense of time is dilated and there is a sense of envelopment within the soundworld.
“…we find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates.” Jun’ichiro Tanizaki, ‘In Praise of Shadows’.
Organ samples performed and recorded by Monty Adkins
Images Andy Fullalove (http://www.andyfullalove.com/)
Mastered by Dominique Bassal
Available as a high-res download (96/24) and cassette from Cronica