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Touch

Liquid Music (Extract)

1,836 views 1 year ago
JON WOZENCROFT writes:

"There is no processing whatsoever with any of the footage in either of the films, it is all as "seen through the lens", and I did lots of observational research of the movement of water before committing anything to film. And a lot of it is extreme close-up and very difficult to film because in many cases I'm literally a few inches from the water, so tripod was impossible. I actually did arm-exercises to avoid camera shake. Also you could say that some of the richness of the "Liquid Music" footage comes thanks to the short-lived Hi-8 format and the particular colour balance and emulsion of Fuji film stock.

"Liquid Music" was edited on an Avid, which was by and large very expensive and so editorial decisions had to be carefully considered beforehand. "Suffolk Symphony" was edited on a Mac under the time pressure we had in Aug 2009, but the editing was much more intuitive in some ways, because trial and error could be employed." (September 2012)

LIQUID MUSIC, 2001

"Liquid Music was made in 2001, in conjunction with the music Christian Fennesz was developing during that fertile period when the future was still a good idea. The first version -- this is it -- was premiered during the Touch tour of 2001, the time of Fennesz's Endless Summer and the steady movement towards Venice.

The footage for Liquid Music originates from Prague, Paxos, Crete, Cephalonia, Messinia, London and one short clip from Monterey Bay. It was filmed on Hi--8 and mini--DV between 1995 and 2001. The main idea was to film everything through the lens, with no post production other than the compilation of many years work into a coherent whole. Fennesz's music, and its ascendent quality, made that a pleasure. The optical quality is on the cusp between analogue and digital resolution. In many respects it's an exchange of values as much as working methods.

I feel it's one of the best works we did in the last 10 years. The Brighton concert, where the audio comes from, was a key moment on the Touch 2001 tour. The PA was Loud. Everything worked. The film, as on all nights, was played in parallel, it is not sync'd in the conventional sense. Every time it was shown it was different. On this night, the second night of the tour, the audience was shocked in a way that shock rarely happens these days.

This very same year, industry experts got together in California to set the MPEG compression codes for DVD mastering. MPEG4 algorithms basically sample 3 frames out of the PAL 25 frames-per-second standard, and interpolate, which is OK if you're trying to get a drama onto a DVD, but hopeless if the film involves very fast movement and transitions. Liquid Music is in some respects a laptop response to the celluloid flicker film from the 1960s -- Paul Sharits, Tony Conrad, Stan Brakage -- Peter Kubelka's Arnulf Rainer. We tried everything Soho facilities houses had to offer but there was no way the film was going to master accurately onto the DVD format.

The movement of water is a difficult thing to film, and to sonify. For years the only way Liquid Music could be shown was either as a live projection or a dedicated screening -- these have taken place at Tate Modern, the BFI, Austria, Hungary, Germany... Ten years later, the satisfactory outcome is to see what it looks like on an iPad or an iPhone, and then to imagine it on the big screen." Show less
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