A MELODY (1984)

Director: Walter Verdin
Year: 1984
Time: 6 mins
Music: Walter Verdin
Eye of Sound: This early work by Belgian creative thunderstorm Walter Verdin may scare away usual customers of the Sound of Eye project because of the perhaps unappealing aspect of the screen caps. If this happens, well, it is maybe an unfortunate consequence of the current dictatorship of picture glitter and the sad oblivion of video as it was understood in the 80s. Verdin seems to devote much of his time today to video-installations and the uneasy relationship between image and dance/theatre; he also continues to explore the vicious concubinage of picture and sound, as we was doing in the early 80s under the banner of video-art. In this work, Verdin slowly discloses a simple melody while unveiling the face of a woman on the screen. The idea is simple but effective: throughout the film, we are presented with several "cells" in which parts of the woman's face are hidden by dark stripes; each of these "cells" simulates a connection with a particular musical note, so that as the melody progresses with the accumulation of notes, the face is gradually revealed without the veil. There is something strangely beautiful and enticing about this simple process; I can't quite put my finger on it, but something tells me it's the way in which the connection between Sound and Eye is stripped down to such an elemental state.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the nice review.
    I want to explain something, the video was made as follows:
    I recorded Dett Peyskens singing tones and laking noises in front of a camera and a microphone. The signal of the microphone was plugged in into the video input of a video monitor. Result: white lines on a black background. The white lines are smaller when the sound is higher (I did the test with a tone generator). This monitor was filmed and mixed by a key effect with the image of the camera in front of the singer, so that the image of the head of the singer only appeared on the screen in the shape of the white lines (luminance key). Thus: she only appeared when she made some noise. With these recordings (we recorded approx one hour), I composed a melody by editing. There was no score before I started editing and the singer never sang this melody or a part of it. When I finished one voice, I copied it twice and made a canon of three voices. The photos are taken from a (noisy) version for a 3 tube barcovision projector. Here you find the original video monitor version (no color inserts): (password: video)
    Walter Verdin

    PS I can not find how I can join the site. Is there another way, apart from Google?