- artistic research in close collaboration with the composer
Henrik Knarborg Larsen, Associate Professor
The purpose of this artistic research project was to create a video of the work Splitpoint for Snaredrum, Sandpaper and ”S” by Simon Steen-Andersen. The work has been developed together with the composer and the vision was to visualize the performative and compositional virtuosity. The visual version of the piece was created together with Jacob Nielsen, who is in charge of Aarhus Symphony Orchestra’s Symfomagica concerts and has developed a unique way of translating music to video. The goal was to find a strict visual expression corresponding to the precise approach to the form of the piece.
Simon Steen-Andersen wrote the work for Larsen i 2002. An important artistic mean is the presumption of a giant semicolon in the middle of the work; the A-part and the B-part of the piece can both be parted by a comma, or the A-part can lead to the B-part as a colon.
The structure is at the same time essentially different and in close relationship, and part from the A-part continues to emerge as soft echoes in the B-part.
The work is characterized by a soundscape of distinctive greyscales. The vision of the composer is to create as many sounds as possible from this quite simple instrument. This is created by special sticks Larsen and Steen-Andersen has developed together. By combining the different sticks with different striking points a wealth of sounds occur. Add to this the sandpaper on the floor played by the foot and the voice with the sound “s” imitation the sandpaper.
The music is thought of as incidents which are either accelerating or decelerating in frequency; layers are moving in different directions and exists at the same time. In the second half of the piece these ideas are also found, together with a simple double orientated polyrhythmic model: First part of the bar gets gradually slower, while the last part doubles the tempo. The dividing line is slowly displaced so that a larger part of the bar is doubled in tempo. So while the tempo is actually getting slower the feeling is that of a constantly increasing activity.
The title Split Point refers to the intersection of an old analogue studio thus refering at the same time to the collage-like construction of the piece and to the semicolon of the large form.