Audiovisual Composition, Fixed Media

2.0 Stereo Audio, Video

Duration: 3’15“

World premiere:
Online-Streaming-Concert of the IEM Graz
(Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustic)
January 07, 2021

FireWorks is a work with double meaning. There is the beauty and fascination of watching and listening to the spectacle of a firework on the one hand. But there is also a memory of the dark side of bombs and missiles exploding on the other hand. It is this ambiguous relationship between power and powerlessness that is both fascinating and shocking at the same time.

Piece info

Although the two components of the piece, i.e. video and audio, were each individually designed, they were always thought out and designed with regard to their interlinking. Starting with and guided by the video material and the audio material anchored therein, the temporal and tonal structure was devised.

Inspired by this given material, which I recorded on New Year’s Eve, I thought about which tonalities would best fit here. So there are ultimately two different sonic levels: One was designed directly from the original cracks and blasts of the original material, of course strongly shaped and appropriately polished. The other sonic layer was composed as a constantly changing soundscape derived from modified impulses that conceptually refer to the cracks.

The relationship between image and sound can be described as follows: Starting from a completely white screen, combined with quiet high-frequency crackling, which acts as a harbinger of the later loud crackers, the image gradually develops through rapid fluctuations, which gradually become more stable and continuous. With this increase in the concretization of the visual material, the opening of the crackling sound to lower frequencies leads to the full opening up of the entire spectral range, while in the bass range a second sound component, that of resonating pitches, gradually mixes in until it finally asserts itself.

In addition to a rhythmically pulsating bass line that twice changes the fundamental tone, low-frequency booms gradually make their breakthrough, the further and more direct forerunners of later firecrackers, especially since their tonal basis is already taken from the original sound material of the recording.

As the bass line gradually thins out, a new sonic component takes over, a nervously agitated glitchy one that competes with the gradually perishing bass line, before an even more nervous pitch play begins.

All of these tonal developments go hand in hand with the corresponding development in the video, the competition of the audio components with one another with the same in different combinations of playback speeds of the now clearly recognizable fireworks. Suddenly there is silence in a glistening white picture, which is also suddenly torn apart by fireworks that explode like shots in a one-to-one chronological correspondence with the video – but: the picture goes backwards.

Apart from the now picture-synchronized blasts, two already known sound components are picked up again in a varied form, a high-frequency, noisy one, which is reminiscent of the initial crackling and with which this section also begins to be gradually replaced by a low-frequency drone. Both picture and sound events become increasingly denser and more aroused, the picture changes noticeably darker, the sound gradually disappears into the distance. Slow motion – Darkness – Silence. Suddenly a tremendous and shattering detonation, paired with a glittering flash of light that cuts through the black night sky. Fade away. Darkness. Silence.