Evaporated Music

Evaporated Music: Part (c) - 3' 30", stereo mix © 2000

Background

Evaporated Music is a trilogy of Dolby 5.1 SD video suites full of grossly emotional imagery and monstrously alien sound. In the first installment, Evaporated Music, big-budget hi-gloss video clips by male icons Elton John, Billy Joel & Phil Collins; and female divas Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion & Mariah Carey are taken whole and uninterrupted. In Evaporated Music 2, a range of appearances of 'fake' bands on TV shows (California Dreams, Pugwall, Full House, The Heights, Kids Incorporated, Saved By The Bell) are rescored with metal music. In Evaporated Music 3, uploaded videos of performances by a selection of amateur and professional string quartets are the focus.

In all three cases, the audio track of music is erased. In Evaporated Music 1, it is replaced by a complete cinematic sound design, constructed to synch to every on-screen movement. In Evaporated Music 2, a song is heard, but it is a completely new metal song composed to perfectly match the performers' movements and vocalization. In Evaporated Music 3, the string quartets' music music is replaced by the sounds of their bodies alone. This project continues Philip's long line of work in the co-joining of new audio to pre-existing imagery, and Evaporated Music is a most extreme audio-visual meld. The effect is seamless and unsettling – yet utterly bereft of the original songs and music.

Credits

Parts (a-c) were produced in 2000. The remaining parts (d-f) were produced in 2004.
Edited, engineered & performed by Philip Brophy
Sound effects recording by Philip & Jennifer Sochackyj
Foley recording assistance by Haima Marriot, Isobel Knowles & Dominic Redfern.

2017

Neon Parc Gallery, Melbourne (Part 1 a-f) (5.1 version)
Collection purchase - Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

2013

SOUNDINGS: A CONTEMPORARY SCORE, Museum of Modern Art, New York (Part 1 a-f) (5.1 version)

2012

REMIX, 16th Film & History Conference, Melbourne (Part 1d & f) (stereo version)

2011

TERRAINS, Gallery Stampa, Basel (Part 1a-f) (5.1 version)
ELECTRIFIED VOICES, Konstanz (Part 1d & f) (stereo version)

2009

MIND THE GAP, Society for New Music, Frankfurt (Part 1 b ,d & e) (5.1 version)

2008

VIDEO LOGIC, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (Part 1 a-f) (5.1 version)
TRACE ELEMENTS, Tokyo Opera City Gallery, Tokyo (Part 1 a-f) (5.1 version)
POP SHOP, Gallery Mu, Eindhoven (Part 1 a-f) (5.1 version)

2007

REVELATION, Perth International Film Festival, Perth (Part 1 a-f) (stereo version)

2006

INTERFACE, The Big Reservoir, Berlin (Part 1 a-f) (5.1 version)
SCANNERS, New York Video Festival, New York (Part 1 c+d) (stereo version)

2005

VIDEO HITS, Queensland Art Gallery, (Part 1 a-c) (stereo version)
Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (Part 1 a-f) (5.1 version)
I THOUGHT I KNEW BUT I WAS WRONG - NEW VIDEO ART FROM AUSTRALIA, Jamjuree Gallery & Chulalongkorn University Gallery, Bangkok; Beijing Millennium Monument (MAAP) (Part 1 c+d) (stereo version)

2003

VIDEO STORE, Foxy Gallery, New York (Part 1 a-c) (stereo version)
Adelaide International Film Festival (Part 1 a-c) (5.1 version)
TREATMENT, Institute for Modern Art, Brisbane (Part 1 a-c) (5.1 version)

2004

LIQUID ARCHITECTURE 3, Treasury Theatre, Melbourne (Part 1 a+b) (5.1 version)

2000

RENT, Overgaden, Oslo (Part 1 a+b) (stereo version)
RENT, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (Part 1 a+b) (stereo version)
FREEDOM, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne (Part 1 c) (stereo version)

Evaporated Music - Part (f) © 2004

Overview

The original concept for Evaporated Music was extremely simple: take complete video clips without altering anything of the original visuals, then totally re-design the soundtrack, replacing the original songs with a cinematic sound design incorporating sound effects, atmospheres and foley. Both the logistics of carrying this idea through, plus the effects of experiencing the resultant audiovisual work have both been considerably more complex.

The strategy of em phasing the audio in so-called visual media (cinema, video, television, etc.) has been central to Philip's productions and writings. Taking an oppositional tack to the idea of 'cut-up' (from montage through to sampling) which is generally focused on a single and disconnected medium (either just cutting up image but nor the sound, or cutting-up audio slabs of video but without any accompanying visuals) em>Evaporated Music is more concerned with 'becoming' the audiovisual rather than contributing further to its modernist fragmentation. 'Becoming' in the instance of Evaporated Music means creating a new audiovisual sonorum that appears to be a thorough integration of the original video clip narratives, but at the same time is a transfiguration of the original texts. The clips of Evaporated Music - wholly untampered at the visual surface where most people concentrate their reading of the electronic/televisual/digital media - effect the becoming of something beyond the original clips.

The concept of penetrating and inhabiting the audiovisual-drome that characterizes video clips is central to the processes employed for Evaporated Music's production. The slicing, dicing & chopping of optical slabs which characterize the 'MTV-effect' of McLuhan-esque accelerated montage and televisual are - via Evaporated Music's reconstructions - rendered raw and unprocessed. The musical atomization which allows the performers to bath in the aural glow of pop music studio production is now palpably absent: the performer's stage has collapsed; their costumes removed; their presence extinguished. In short, the performers are rendered in uncomfortable surroundings: their spectacular imaginary world is sonically transformed into an unwelcoming sonorum. When music evaporates from the audio-visual flow, the sonic terrorizes all image residue; invisible noises filter through the unmodulated plane of silence which frames the image track.

Audiovisuality persistently remains the most primal and sensual compound experience - despite a long succession of mediarized 'revolutions' (the electronic, the televisual, the digital). Through each of those revolutions' faux-radicalized reinventions of limiting ocular/visual codes, the audio-visual meld is rarely privileged, guaranteed, highlighted. Yet audiovisuality is the core realm where both image and sound - alone and combined - are at their most fluid, their most malleable, their most reconstitutable. Amidst the intense circulation that occurs there, one perceives that all sounds and images can be grafted wherever they may hold. Sounds and images then are less containers of meaning - as if they are 'modern media' versions of the arcana of words, sentences and paragraphs; sounds and images - as veins of audiovisual energy - are more tissue of matter.

Evaporated Music - Part (3) © 2004

Technical

Sound Post-Production

Utilizing the basic approach to film sound design, the video clips were broken down into scene locations, then ideas for surround-sound atmospheres and spot/singular sound effects were itemized. The selection of these sounds were based on creating a specific 'aural dimension' and 'sound stage' for the evaporated realm now inhabited by the demusicalized singers. After the sounds were recorded (by Philip & Jennifer Sochackyj) they were digitized, sampled and waveform edited into multi-channel events and passages. Throughout these processes, some of the original sounds were replaced by others as new ideas developed (the "?" listed denotes parts not clearly envisioned until actual sound processing was underway), but the charts were always used as a guiding structure against which the sound design's development was checked and evaluated.

A phono-labial reinterpretation of the lyrics was drafted and performed, reducing them to abstract vocalized utterances to match the onscreen lip movements. (An example of the Part 1 a is listed below). These vocal recordings were then processed further and added to the sound design mix. Complete foley tracks were also recorded (sounds of body movements footsteps, rustlings of fabrics, etc.) to enhance the cinematic effect of the onscreen person appearing to inhabit the screen space. Finally the complete multi-tracked compositions were mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1. Apart form spatialization, this entailed noting waves and arcs of aural drama in order to shape and sculpt the sonic bombast into an auralization of the narrative implied by the video clips linear structure.

Evaporated Music - Part (c) © 2000

Sound Design charting

Example - Part (d)

Scene / Atmospheres / Effects
Estate / (-) / Fireworks display + Chinese New Year crackers
Hallway 1 / Wooing wind / Rain heard from inside / Lightning booms deep + Motor bike turned on + Motor bike revs & revving
Hallway 1 / Vapour emissions (dry ice) / Mineral water bottle being opened
Hallway 1 / Wood chimes mass shimmering (lines of candles) / Motor bike revving + Motor bike deep revving + Phone book flick backwards (bike disappearing) + Lid of cooking pot suddenly lifted (bike disappearing)
Weather vane / Pouring rain outside heavy 1 / Metal creaking
Front of mansion / Pouring rain outside heavy 1 / Lightning booms deep + Motor bike revving & departing
Road / Pouring rain outside heavy 2 / Tearing paper + Lightning booms deep + Motor bike speeding + Electrical sparks (headlight glints) + Oil splatters (tree strike) + Juicer (bike engine skidding) + Knife sharpener (bike engine scraping) + Casserole dish on sink, board & concrete floor (bike shell skidding) + Rhodes mic case crackle (sparks) + Handling metal tools w/distortion (bike skidding/crashing)
Boudoir asleep / Pouring rain outside light / Vocoder processing Lightning booms mid + Mortar/pestle (statue) + Flapping cardboard (candle) + Crackers (picture flashes) + Chrome ball light + Office chairs on wooden floor
Boudoir awake / Light crackling fire / Chimes + Heavy close-up fire (lovemaking)
Boudoir window / Whizzing cords / Flapping sheets Car door w/reverb (windows open) + Fridge door shut processed (windows shut) + Cracking tin sheets covered with rice w/reverb (white light bursts)
Boudoir mirror / Piano scrape 1 (spooky scene) + Piano scrape 2 (normal scene) / Cloth rubbing (shadow on wall) + Processed cloth (appearance of man in mirror) + Metal gong (touches normal mirror)
The kiss / Pidgeon cooing / Rubber gloves with gloop + Lip smacking
Corridor / Train drone / Single fireworks explosion (doors opening) + Ball rolling on floor (running)
Piano room 1 / Piano scrape 3 + Guitar string scraping + Guitar neck pings
Piano room 2 / Piano scrape 4 / Glass smashing + Leaves being rustled/blow/crunched
Picture gallery / SW radio crackling / Vocoder textures + Low pitched bowl rubbing (general rotation) + High pitched bowl rubbing (dream hug spin)