Evaporated Music 3

Classical Corpus Delecti

Evaporated Music 3: Part (e) - 2' 23" stereo mix - © 2015

Background

Evaporated Music is a trilogy of Dolby 5.1 SD video suites full of grossly emotional imagery and monstrously alien sound. The third installment of the project is subtitled "Classical Corpus Delecti". Six string quartets' music is replaced by the sounds of their bodies alone. This project continues Philip's long line of work in the conjoining 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

All Foley & Dolby Digital 5.1 mix - Philip Brophy

2017

Neon Parc Gallery, Melbourne (Part 2 a-f) (5.1 version)

Evaporated Music 3 - Part (f) © 2015

Overview

Evaporated Music 3 probably best represents the trilogy's core impulse to re-sound and re-voice the faces, vocals and bodies of on-screen performers engaged in making music. In the third installment "Classical Corpus Delecti", the notion of 'evaporation' is palpable: the thinnest residue of sonic detritus remains in the 6 videos. Where there were once serious and impassioned quartets engaged in the gentile art of string quartet performance, there is now nothing but the noise of their nasal whistling, saliva-popping glossolalia, wool rubs, nylon squeaks, carpet thumping and leather-soled stomping. In place of sounding music of the past, they sound space of the present. This is the aural equivalent of the performers' hair, clothes, make-up, face and posture, momentarily encased within the random configuration of their spaces - from college auditorium to hired function room to council hall to amateur theatre space.

In contrast to the other two installments of Evaporated Music, this installment precisely sounds the image content of the videos without excessive recourse to semiotic or mythological layering of the visual meanings (notable in the bombastic pop videos of Evaporated Music 1 and the fake televisual staging of Evaporated Music 2). If these classical string quartets are - as some would have it - the living blood of the purest and most proper forms of musical composition and performance, then the reconstituted sound design contains nothing but the Foley recording of their visible movement. Yet in that very process, the evaporation of venerated music equally suggests the locus of such music now: an invisible ghost of its former self disallowed egress into the material world of sound and music today.

Evaporated Music 3 - Part (b) © 2015

Technical

After trawling through classical music sections in various music and video stores and online shops, it became apparent that sourcing footage of classical string quartets would be a difficult research assignment. Most available DVD performances were of opera singers and symphony orchestras. The search thus shifted to online semi-pro and amateur performances on YouTube and Vimeo. (Thanks to Carla Ori who persevered with some of this research.) Out of a bevy of uploaded performances were considered, a set of criteria were formed for the video selection: fixed camera (no panning or zooming); single-shot (no multi-camera editing); and as front-on and evenly-framed as possible. From the final 6 videos selected, sections of around 2.5 minutes were chosen. Some start at the beginning of a performance then fade-out; others fade-up and finish complete with the performers exiting; some fade-up and fade-down; and one contains the performers tuning up at the start.

A finished compilation of the 6 performances was produced. Close-analysis of their performance then dictated the means for producing distinct Foley recordings of the performers in the visible spaces.

Part (a) - Small room - carpeted floor - plaster-board walls.

Violin 1 / male / suit / leather soles - tapping / mostly nasal
Violin 2 / male / suit / leather soles - shuffles / nasal whistle
Viola / male / suit / leather soles - shuffles / occasional lip clicks halted short breaths
Cello / male / suit - sudden elbow moves / leather soles - shuffles / halted short breaths

Part (b) - Medium room - parquet floor - flat-walled surfaces w/ acoustic covers.

Violin 1 / male / suit / leather soles - tapping / mostly nasal
Violin 2 / female / suit / leather soles - shuffles / nasal whistle
Viola / female / suit / leather soles - shuffles / occasional lip clicks halted short breaths
Cello / male / suit - sudden elbow moves / leather soles - shuffles / halted short breaths

Part (c) Small room - carpeted staging - temporary light curtains.

Violin 1 / male / suit / leather soles - tapping / mostly nasal
Violin 2 / male / suit / leather soles - shuffles / nasal whistle
Viola / male / suit / leather soles - shuffles / occasional lip clicks halted short breaths
Cello / male / suit - sudden elbow moves / leather soles - shuffles / halted short breaths

Part (d) - Large hall - wooden floor - large faux and plaster walls.

Violin 1 / male / suit / leather soles - tapping / mostly nasal
Violin 2 / male / suit / leather soles - shuffles / nasal whistle
Viola / male / suit / leather soles - shuffles / occasional lip clicks halted short breaths
Cello / male / suit - sudden elbow moves / leather soles - shuffles / halted short breaths

Part (e) - Large hall - wooden floor - high wooden walls.

Violin 1 / male / suit / leather soles - tapping / mostly nasal
Violin 2 / male / suit / leather soles - shuffles / nasal whistle
Viola / male / suit / leather soles - shuffles / occasional lip clicks halted short breaths
Cello / male / suit - sudden elbow moves / leather soles - shuffles / halted short breaths

Part (f) - Medium room - flat-panelled flooring - theatre flats & curtains.

Violin 1 / male / suit / leather soles - tapping / mostly nasal
Violin 2 / male / suit / leather soles - shuffles / nasal whistle
Viola / male / suit / leather soles - shuffles / occasional lip clicks halted short breaths
Cello / male / suit - sudden elbow moves / leather soles - shuffles / halted short breaths