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Sounding the GalleryVideo and the Rise of Art-Music$
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Holly Rogers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199861408

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199861408.001.0001

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Silent Music and Static Motion

Silent Music and Static Motion

The Audiovisual History of Video

(p.46) 2 Silent Music and Static Motion
Sounding the Gallery

Holly Rogers

Oxford University Press

This chapter unpacks the hypothesis that early video was used by artist-composers to bring together the separate but related histories of music and art. Starting in the early modern era, it identifies an emerging audiovisual culture that ran through visual music, audible art, audio-visual instruments, colour-sound synaesthesia and experimental film. With reference to the theories of Gotthold Lessing, Daniel Albright, Richard Leppert, Theodor Adorno and Nicholas Cook, musicians ranging from Wagner, Lachenmann, Nancarrow, Skryabin, Rimsky-Korsakov and Messiaen to Elvis and Britney Spears are used to explore the the physicality of music performance and the possibilities for spatialising sound: the work of artists Boccioni, Klee, Klimt and Kandinsky provide examples of temporal and synaesthetic visual work. Lastly, the experimental films of Oskar Fischinger, Norman McLaren and the Whitney Brothers provide a technological link from earlier experimentation to the birth of video art-music.

Keywords:   Synaesthesia, experimental film, visual music, Wagner, Skryabin, Messiaen, Klee, Klimt, Kandinsky, Fischinger, Whitney Brothers

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