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Scetches for a video architecture


Peter and I sat down last night to create a structural framework for his SoftVNS- and Jitter-based video patches. We started by develloping an architecture for each of the videoeffects used. the challnge is to make it intuitive to run with a UI taking as little screen space as possible possible to script and as flexible as possible. We both felt that we came up with some really good solutions.

If we had not done this now furter video develloped would have come to a hault as the number of patches (and different versions) would make the system less and less manageable.

Afterwards we met Lisbeth at a bar. Now we’re talking about a really long day but I enjoy it.

Where to start?


I’ve learned a major lesson from Lisbeth and Aslo so far in this production: Not being afraid of throwing out ideas and suggestions. The making of the production is very different from e.g. traditional music litterature or drama. We do not start of with a “plan” (text story motive plan for large scale form or anything similar). The material is abstract and has to be worked on from within. That is impossible to do unless there’s something to start of from and we all share a responsibility of providing these points of departures.

Making decisions


When we first started develloping the previous Verdensteatret performance Tsalal I was frustrated about how ideas that were working well were still being reinvestigated deconstructed and reconstructed over and over again. Little by little I’ve come to appreciate that we’re not necsessarily jumping on the first idea that pops up. It’s a way of challenging your current way of thinking and working getting a deeper understanding of the material and pushing forward in directions you didn’t think of beforehand. On the other side I also fear that we keep working on (the first?) ten minuites of the performance for too long and don’t get the time to put as much attention into the rest of the performance.

A completely different approach would be to make a poor and rough scetch of the whole performance and then work more and more into the details. It proberbly wouldn’t work in the case of Verdensteatret though. Something about what we’re doing reminds me of writing Palestrina excercises during the composition studies: If you do a change locally in one bar the consequences are global affecting the whole of the excersise.

Working with Frode Thorsen was the opposite extreme: We had limited time for devellopment and Frode was really good at forcing us to make decissions and structures based on the limited number of improvisations we did.

" I only had a few days – and the effect of this is to focus attention. Less exploration of all the possible journeys you could make more determination to take one journey (even if the choice of it is initially rather arbitrary) and make it take you somewhere."

It’s interesting that Eno seems to believe that this approach gives more surprising results:

" Working with greater leisure my ideas become much more "reasonable&quot and surprise me less."

(Quotes from Brian Eno: A Year with Swollen Appendices January 12th)

Another long day


We continued to work at what we did Tuesday trying to push it forward and in new directions. Some of it worked and some of it didn’t but we got some new ideas. Lars that’s playing in the band When together with Øyvind came in. In the afternoon we did a jam session/improvisation that gave us several new ideas.

Improvising on a laptop is less than satisfying. I’m missing the physical hans-on feeling of ordinary isntruments. For improvisations I’m mainly using radiaL. It’s a nice program but I’m still stuck with the mouse being able to do only one thing at a time.Wouldn’t mind getting the Motormix fader but the price is…

Long day


I was cathing an early flight to Oslo and arrived at Statens kunstakademi at 10:30. The rehearsals has moved from Grusomhetens teater at Hausmania to Skulptursalen at Statens kunstakademi for the next three weeks. It feels good to move from a dark cellar to a white room.All windows were of course covered up as we’re using a lot of video and lighst but the room still feels brighter.

During my previous session in Oslo Verdensteatret had started devellop material develloping organicly from olne situation onwards. I had the feeling that it might be difficult to devellop when you do not know in what direction you want to go. I therefore suggested to start devellop several situations that didn’t necsessarily have to connect to each other yet. When I came back yesterday the scenography has develloped and they were working on a different situation within it. Also a prepared piano with live processing is introduced.

The father of one of the actors Corine was watching most of the rehearsals and gave a very precise definitioon of what we’re aiming at. This is becoming a complex world with a lot of simultaneous stories. "If there’s a story there’s something wrong". Lisbeth said that Verdensteatret is sometimes criticised for telling 15 stories at the same time. To me this is a way to come to terms with the fact that the world is to big and chaotic for us to try making one theory one history and one point of view that everything should be able to fit into.

Arild Bomann came in after rehearsals and played us some tapes from the late seventies a weird kind of jazz using alt sax (Kalle Neumann) and a moog (Arild) and resembling side 2 of Bowies “Low”. I digitized them but haven’t had the time yet to clean it up and burn to CD.

Alse Lisbeth me and Piotr (Peter) continued to work into the night testing out music I was bringing along listening to music Lisbeth and Asle found interesting and working on some of the videos.

Peter is facing similar problems to what I and Håkon did during the devellopment of Tsalal: How to handle large Max patches for controlling real time video processing so that it becomes a setup that is useable in actual performances and at the same time keeping maximum flexibility during current devellopment? I’ve looked into Jade earlier on but I don’t think it will suit or needs for video during this production. We started discussing possible solutions.

I was back at the flat I’m staying at around midnight and set down to create 800×600 JPEGS from the slides I took during the trip to Greenland. It didn’t take too long to create a batch processing patch for conversion in Max/Jitter.


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