The year of Elemental

“There’s a place I always go… the tangled, messy border where human and nature collide and collude. Edgeland.” – NYTimes writer Rob Cowen

This idea of Edgelands – that space between city and country, wild and tamed, was the inspiration for this fifth edition of the Elemental series.  For this topic we asked Catherine Pancake, a US-based sound designer and composer, to create an original soundscape based on the idea of Edgelands.  Using Catherine’s piece as the starting point, we each created a video interpretation to accompany the sound- one more narrative, the other more experimental- yet both walking that imaginary line.

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The year of Elemental

On August 21, 2017 a momentous astronomical event took place in the US, a total eclipse of the sun. The year of Elemental marked this event by asking French sound designer Patrick de Caumette to create an original sound composition.  With eclipse footage supplied by Derek Muller and John D. Boswell, Sandy and LeAnn took wide inspiration from the word and phenomenon of eclipse.

The year of Elemental

As the year of Elemental continues, our third sound artist, Ng Chor Guan, chose the prompt Sense as his inspiration. Perception is defined as the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.  Using the prompt and Guan’s haunting soundtrack, we each created separate videos, yet both pieces share a number of visual themes.

elemental: sense

The Theremin is an early and unusual electronic instrument where the performer plays the device without ever touching it. Malaysian composer Ng Chor Guan, a master of the theremin, chose ‘sense’ as his prompt to create this haunting soundtrack. Inspired by the feeling of mystery and loss, I created a piece based on an isolated artist residency I completed at the National Seashore of Cape Cod.