Project: Solar-Lunar Suite for Four Seasons
With music recorded by flutist Jo Brand, Solar-Lunar Suite tracks moonrise-moonset, sunrise-sunset, high and low tides over each season of one year, based on each solstice and equinox.
It felt as if each movement evoked the sensations of its respective season which inspired me to produce a video short with Dan Rubin's photographic studies of the holiday windows at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York. The structure of the video is that of a musical sonata -- beginning with an exposition of visual motifs in Winter, repeated in Spring, and followed by the development in Summer, which expands on the themes with non-window images. Autumn becomes a recapitulation, with the images returning to the window displays. The photographs combined with video I shot of the seasons reflected in blue, green, yellow, and red cars offer sensory, dreamlike narratives that are open to interpretation by the viewer. The video premiered in 2016 at the New York Independent Film Festival, Producer's Club, NYC.
After formatting a chart of 24 hours to plot the times, I transcribed these rhythms into music by assigning pitch, note value, and register based on their positions. I created a “ruler” of musical pitch registers (octaves) using a 12-tone chromatic scale and the line lengths between suns, moons and tides became another element. I chose flute for the moon, piano for the sun, and harp for the length of lines between rising and setting suns, moons, and high/low tides. Pitch is based on the lengths of my friend Amy Burchenal’s harp strings.
The mixed media collages include monotypes. My process is inspired by Zen Buddhist hatsuboku, or “flung ink” landscape paintings that capture the essence of nature through splashes of ink. Using water-based block printing ink on Chinese metal leaf joss, images emerge as a collaborative process between the inked surface, the paper, and my movements. The composition is always a surprise. I then look for interesting compositions and crop the larger monotypes into circles. Although it remains the same, the image appears to transform with subtle shifts of light against the metal leaf.
To isolate visual patterns in the traditional score, each color used equals the total note or rest value (two tied eighth notes would be the same color as a quarter note); harp staff line colors correspond to those in the artwork.