BEFORE SLEEP

Smithereens (Ross Whyte, 2011)

Pete Stollery, a Professor in Composition and Electroacoustic Music at the University of Aberdeen, passed this short piece along to me a few days ago.  It was composed and created by Ross Whyte, a musician and PhD student at the University of Aberdeen, whose research explores “audio-visual intermedia and multi-sensory perception in music.”  You can find Whyte and more of his work here.

The film echoes the woman-on-the-stairs of Leger’s Ballet Mecanique.  But it manages much more than nods to history, the pleasures of found footage, or the ghosts of mechanical reproduction.  Whyte’s use of sound remakes the image(s), brings texture to these early spaces, and plays with the absurdities and excesses hiding just beyond the chase scene.

Smithereens also invites us to spend time with (several kinds of) orphans. I couldn’t help but wonder: Who is this girl?  Where is she going?  Did she ever get there?

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