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.
Rose Bond (designer, director, animator), Zak Margolis (production artist), Steve Farris (technical producer)
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)
Pat McGillen (projection gear)