“The Thundering Scream of Seraphim’s Delight” by Reynold Weidenaar


  • ©, , The Thundering Scream of Seraphim's Delight

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    The Thundering Scream of Seraphim's Delight

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    Composed by Reynold Weidenaar Performed by Peter Luit

    In the Thundering Scream of Seraphim’s Delight (1987) the double bass is revealed on video as a metaphoric microcosm of sprited human effort. Close-ups of performance phrases and gestures extract the dance-like suppleness and elegant fluidity, the elusive spontaneity, and the sometimes exuberant drama or wrenching struggle that support seemingly small and minor movements. Using the extended character of the hands, a luminescent dialogue ensues as the various interactive audio and video performances respond and recoil. The work explores energetic physicality and a spectrum of inner and outer states, from subdued tension to ecstatic whimsy. Thus is disclosed the magically angelic presence and commanding strength of the remarkable instrument upon which these musical dramas unfold.

    This work is formed as a suite of 31 brief sonic/scenic events, each extending in duration anywhere from 6 to 64 seconds. The musical and visual materials of each scene were conceived together. Thus, as the basic musical ideas were being composed, certain primary visual elements also come to mind: camera angle, framing, lighting, camera movement and visual composition. After these underlying sights and sounds were synchronously recorded, the piece was formed by incorporating complementary image-processing designs, mimetic performance footage, and digital material (derived from the sampled double bass), as well as a live-performance part for the double bass. The piece is arranged in a nearly-symetrical arch form, with two hologram scenes and double bass solos on either side of the center. Video: The Thundering Scream of Seraphim’s Delight at SIGGRAPH 1988


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