documentation

These pages will include ideas and discussion around documentation
strategies for
Sanctuary and The Sanctuary Project overall. Following
the Salk Institute performance in October 2008, a special, week-long
recording session occurred in the CALIT2 studios. The goals that
informed that recording session are discussed further in an interview
with Roger Reynolds
here

.

Integrated Perspectives Recording (IPeR)
posted 28 November 2008

Live musical performance involving an engaged audience is uniquely
powerful. Perhaps nothing can match the moment, the sense of
occasion created when musicians and audience meld in a superlative
concert experience.

Of course, the majority of musical performance today is experienced as
a result of digital capture on media which, in turn, is reproduced
using digital technology. But however fine its technical quality – and it
can be superlative –  even the most expert audio-visual documentation
of a performance is inevitably distanced, more filled with distracting
detail than is desirable for one seeking maximal immersion in an
aesthetic experience.

Integrated Perspectives Recording (IPeR) intends to intensify the
integrated and focused character of a recording “document,” and to
establish new, uniquely mobile and revelatory vantage points.

IPeR comprises:

-       coordination between sonic and visual fields through a framework
that allows the impact of sound spatialization, acoustic antiphonies,
placement of performers, and changes in their positioning to be fully
experienced as an integrated presentation on a DVD,

-        multiple camera perspectives providing the observer with a close-
up view not only of the instruments involved and bodily gestures that
excite them, but “in flight” close-ups of fingers, mallets, bows, as the
performer experiences them,

-        capture of the close coordination required among musicians and,
in some cases, technicians, involved in a performance. This is
especially relevant in chamber music. IPeR offers the observer an
opportunity not only to hear the subtlety of such collaborative sonic
interplay as a choreography of sounds in multichannel space, but to
see the performers cuing one another with silent gestures and eye
contact, and,

-        meticulous, shot by shot scripting, allowing observers to exercise
– through superimposition, shifting audio perspectives, camera pans
and zooms – navigational options for experiencing the music to a  
degree that would be impossible during any actual performance.


Whatever the specific strategies employed, the overall goal of an IPeR
is to establish the most thorough and substantive documentation of a
work and its performance that is technically possible, and then to
fashion a “product” that makes possible rich, personalized access to all
the music’s relevant dimensions. In short, to create a kind of aesthetic
hyper-reality – an instance of the sublime.

The Sanctuary Project www.sanctuaryproject.net, involving an
extensive team at UC San Diego’s Department of Music and CALIT2, is
exploring the edges of what an IPeR could be. An initial stage has
resulted in the capture of the world premiere of Sanctuary at I.M. Pei’s
East Building atrium of the National Gallery of Art in November 2007,
documentation of the performance on the courtyard of Louis Kahn’s
Salk Institute (La Jolla, California) in October 2008, and a special
CALIT2 recording session which followed, specifically focusing upon a
scripted documentation with IPeR ideals.


Roger Reynolds
December 2008

The Sanctuary Project
by Roger Reynolds