Visualizing Berio

Finalist 2020

Rose Bond, celebrated Portland-based media artist, has again collaborated with the Oregon Symphony; this time creating a visually augmented live performance of Luciano Berio’s ‘Sinfonia.’ The live performance of the symphony -dubbed “the ultimate pre-postmodernist musical palimpsest”- is accompanied by massive projections that give the audience a unique audio-visual experience that captures 1968 as a pivotal time of cultural change.
In 1968, Luciano Berio composed the avant-garde ‘Sinfonia’ to be rich in cultural and political references. He sampled the likes of Debussy, Ravel, Mahler and lifted lines of text from writers Claude Levi-Strauss, Samuel Beckett and James Joyce. This layered referencing forms spiraling fragments of music and text that form a network of acoustic allusions and cross-references to the year 1968.

Bond aimed to create the ‘visual equivalency’ of this by collaging iconic images with varied original animations. The visuals, which were ‘live-queued’ to sync with the conductor, were projected onto the walls of the theater at a massive scale, dwarfing the 100-person orchestra and vocal ensemble. Eight 20k projectors were needed for the massive projections, which reached heights of 75' and width spanning over 120'.

Bond’s extraordinary alchemy of combining larger-than-life visuals with this particular symphony results in a unique performance that captivates audiences and revives the pivotal history of 1968 in a unique and innovative presentation.

Design Firms: 

Rose Bond Moving Pictures

Client: 

Oregon Symphony Association

Project Area: 

5,568 sq ft

Open Date: 

March 2020

Project Budget: 

N/A

Photo Credits: 

Rose Bond, Oregon Symphony

Design Team: 

Rose Bond (designer, director, animator), Zak Margolis (production artist), Steve Farris (technical producer)

Consultants: 

Norman Huynh (associate conductor and translator of music score to video cues), Carlos Kalmer (music director oregon symphony), Roomful of Teeth (eight person vocal group lead by Caroline Shaw & Brad Wells)

Fabricators: 

Pat McGillen (projection gear)

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