Thursday, 22 May 2014

Special Order

Huang Yi and I in my room. It's evening time. I have just come back from Hsinchu where we shot some scenes at the science lab. We nearly missed each other. I saw a can of the fruit juice Yi always brings whenever he comes to me. A little note from him. I called back immediately. Fortunately, he was only a few blocks away.
I'm playing him some new music for Floating Domain. He listens, selects, approves or disapproves. 
"By the way, could you tell me a little about this next project? It's for next month already, so I would like to form some ideas in my mind..."
Silence from Yi. 
"Hmmm.... Maybe... I'll tell you after we finish Floating Domain. I can't think of it now."
The premiere, then the performances of Floating Domains passed. I was busy finalising, recording and editing the score of Dawn / Spring with Jay. Not hearing from Yi allowed me to focus on the film and not overstuff my already stuffed head.
We're now one month to the premiere. Still no news. A few messages sent to Yi do not produce any result. He must be very busy.

Huang Yi is indeed busy. His assistant, ShuYi has contacted me to get my ID info. She's surprised when I tell her I have no news about Yi and that I'm totally clueless about the project. 

Two weeks to the premiere. Finally, Yi has written to invite me to his studio in Bali and watch fragments of Special Order. I think he trusts that I will be able to come up with the music no matter the circumstances. Fortunately, I have started to sketch some musical ideas in my head.
After 4 years working together, I also know that if there is any need of music, it's never narrative music, more an atmosphere to signal a mood or an emotion. 
This project will be exciting for the audience: four dancers, Wei-An, Hu Chien, Jou-Wen and Yi himself. Kuka the robot will be 'filming' some scenes which will be simultaneously be projected on the screen behind. Kuka's movement are smooth and elegant, like a dancer's. Yi spent hours programing each motion. 
On stage, a wooden table on which most of the choreography has been done. On the left of the stage, a white elevated platform with an old vintage chair.  
The music won't be played on the speakers, but on headphones which will be connected to each of the chairs. From the speakers, only the directions for the dancers will be heard. 
Of all Yi's techno projects, this one is the most exciting. 
I barely have one week to do the music, but it flowed out easily. As a base, I used what I had done for the sound installation of PLAY 2 PLAY last December, a voice sample looped, duplicated, pitched up and down to infinity, on which I added digital sounds, ambience sounds recorded in public places, voices, a string quartet, piano, percussion and harp.  
Since visually the piece will be very cold and unemotional - yet stunning to watch, I wanted the audience to connect it to another world, the music, which will expand the visual experience.

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