The cinematic experience can be perceived as a personal encounter with the director of each film. reScores no. one reinterprets the aural potentials of filmmakers from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, presented by contemporary intermedia and sound artists. Scoring for commercial films is supposed to trigger dramatic effects and is usually synchronized seamlessly with picture and dialogue. reScores is meant to provoke a second dynamic - a hidden layer of possibility for a given director's oeuvre. Each piece is chosen to reveal the aural potential of the filmmaker, disregarding his or her film's given soundtracks so listeners can provide their own impressions and perceptions. The sound works become emotional abstractions of the director's aesthetic.
This issue highlights a curated selection of artists who have re-scored for the following directors: Andy Graydon for Tsui Hark, Byron Westbrook for Tsai Ming Liang, Maria Papadomanolaki for Sylvia Chang, and Piet-Jan van Rossum for Hou Hsiao Hsien. The featured artists work across a broad spectrum of sound categories including electronics, classical compositions, field recordings, live improvisations, experimental music, minimalist soundscapes, noise, and site-specific installations.
As an artist and filmmaker, Andy Graydon explores the notion of "science fiction ecologies" in both visual and sonic practices. Graydon's sound works often capture the interstitial spaces sourced from both natural and artificial environments, taking the listener to different architectural planes. The amplified reverberations of his sonic compositions allow the listener to respond with his or her own narratives, similar to techniques used in film scoring.
Some audio works should be fully experienced in an immersive environment rather than simply listening to it as one normally would. Working with the spatial dynamics of our immediate environment, Byron Westbrook's ambient and drone works can easily stand alone as being sound sculptures. Westbrook's practice involves the stripping down of music to reveal its core textures and forms, frequently paired with basic instruments. Using multi-channel sound, Westbrook is interested in exploring the various possibilities of the audience's listening experience, often calibrating and re-calibrating the sound palette to alter our perceptions.
Maria Papadomanolaki is an electronic music composer. She is also an experimenter and researcher of transmission arts with the sensitivity of a writer. With a background in French literature, her interest in language is evidently translated into the psychologies of time and space within the context of sound and air waves. In Papadomanolaki's work, she is consistently re-interpreting the relationship between voice, text, and electronics, drawing the listener into a poetically lush soundscape.
Expect a lot of silence, crackling records, expressionistic gestures, and the occasional sound of a cat in Piet-Jan van Rossum's musical compositions. The complexity and fragility within a single note, followed by a prolonged silence can trigger both chilling memories and encourage hope. "It's all about looking for a novel beauty in the corrosion of an old (sound) world," the artist explains. Using a combination of classical compositional techniques and electro-acoustics, van Rossum's work narrates a traditional story with experimental sounds that blend together to create a timeless present.
For an optimal listening experience to the sound works, stereo headphones or good speakers are recommended.
New York City native Helen Homan Wu is a curator of events/exhibitions and a producer of intermedia arts projects. Since 2005, Wu has been consistently curating and presenting projects with a focus on trans-disciplinary practices. She established Opalnest, an intermedia production house dedicated to showcase the finest in interdisciplinary arts and produce cutting-edge special projects both for- and non-profit. Wu is also cofounder and contributing editor of Artcards Review. Her recent projects include: 2012 Armory Arts Week (NY) satellite events, One World Exposition (HK, 2011), and the Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture satellite events (CN, 2011).