Tobin’s Journal: April 10, 2005

Sunday, April 10, 2005

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A sunny afternoon, back in Herne Hill. Taking this time to catch up in the journal, even though a number of things I should be doing instead. Amazing how work ceases to be work once it takes the form of procrastination for some other work. The first test for the internet live feed with Jazz at Lincoln Center Festival is tonight at 8. I should be setting up for it now. But I will do this quick entry first. I am heading to Brixton at 4 to see the film Bullet Boy. A first time film from a London local, the producer and actor will be at the screening, and will do a talkback afterwards. Should be interesting because the film has been slightly controversial in its depiction of a gun culture and London’s version of “projects” I think. Of course, I haven’t seen it yet–and don’t yet know what I am talking about. More in the next entry. I am going to see two documentaries on America and Iraq on Wednesday, also with the directors present. Really looking forward to that, especially with the “warrior” project coming up next year, and the documentary “itch” returning to me. I leave with Amanda on Thursday for Netherlands, for the Spring Dance Festival. We are meeting up with others from Philadelphia, and I think New York. So we really haven’t gotten out of our suitcases yet. The day I get back we do the feed to NYC, so my week is really full–its how I like it.
Just finished reading Alma’s memoirs of Gustav Mahler. It was so full of love, and moving, and intense. I am so glad I read it. I feel very connected to this Mahler project on many levels. Have really become a huge Mahler enthusiast. It seems so few people know about him and his contribution to music. I look forward to reading more from other sources. And will be hunting for recordings of Alma’s music this week. It is strange how my projects are overlapping. This opera, with its departure point in Tristan and Isolde, which was Mahler’s signature and one of his favorite operas. The Warrior project next year, with the Alban Berg connection-another Viennese artist who had connection with Mahler, and my own roots to Austria, in that time period I believe, as an Austrian Jew. I never made a decision to immerse myself in this period — so it is interesting that it has sort of manifested in this way. I will roll with it of course.
I have been thinking a lot about what someone said to me before leaving–not to let my work get too European. This is from someone in the sort of New York “downtown: world–which I suppose is a reaction to the “self serious highly artsy” –I am not sure–it is a strange thing to wrap my head around. But interesting that I step right into this sort of “downtown” Lincoln Center gig. I think I will try to play with both ideas, as much as I understand what both these ideas are.
talked a lot about music with Pete this week, especially the composers’ process. How we can integrate the work I do with that process, which at times demands isolation, –while that same isolation makes the composer (according to Pete) feel cut off from the process.
I am excited for the first meeting between Pete, the playwright/librettist, and myself (the week after next). I think it will be very interesting.
Met a woman from Argentina yesterday who is involved with a dance theatre hybrid form called “emergence” technique. It uses physical trained actors and dancers-some with ballet background, in a system of improvisations governed by a set of preformulated rules. It seemed very interesting and I will be trying to attend some rehearsals while I am here.
I should get going now, a start to rig this complex circuit of digital analog conversions in order to get this signal, with live and out of the computer imagery over to states. Once again a tight budget has forced some creative work arounds–would probably make some technical types cringe. But I am excited for the sort of ridiculous circle of analog to digital conversions and what effect that will result in-especially coupled with the cubic interference that can occur with any type of movement during the live compression and Internet transfer. I am still trying to decide between taking a signal straight out of my computer verses putting it out via projector to a textured surface, than re digitizing via a camera before compressing and sending. I definitely want to get the feeling of image breaking apart-and to get that live, in a somewhat un predictable way (along the lines of feedback) would be idea, although if it becomes too un predictable-it could just look terrible, or become a gimmick. Hence the testing-to which I go now. I imagine I may be recording video and digital still for the project while in the Netherlands in addition to whatever I do in Chelsea in the beginning of the week.