Brushwork - Elise Chohan MMus

Clive Walley - Elise Chohan - Divertimenti 3 - Brushwork

I had seen the Divertimenti animations a couple of times at different seminars given by Clive Walley, though I didn't want to get too familiar with the soundtracks on them, as I knew that, once I had permission, I wanted to take one to put images to. However, I do vaguely remember how the soundtrack started, with small sound of a paintbrush in a glass, which is why I have started the sound track in a similar way, using small incidental noises.

After the Sonimation, which I would personally deem a very 'electroacoustic' soundtrack, I wanted to create something more commercial, and indeed musical. I think this was partly inspired by Jochen Eisentraut who has worked on different Clive Walley animations that I have seen.

I had an idea that I wanted to use some fairly repetitive loops, to compliment the rhythmic moving of the glass layers framing all the action, and I was also keen to experiment with prepared piano. This was reinforced when I bought the Aphex Twin album druqs, which uses prepared piano with looping patterns.

I already had this in mind when I went with David Casal who had experience of setting up and playing prepared piano works, and a generally intuitive attitude to music in this medium, to record my samples. We were able to record some excellent single sounds, and then, without the need of scores, or written reference, having described the repetitive type of material I wanted, David was able to produce exactly the sounds I had matched to the animation in my mind.

Another feature of collaboration is the coincidences: the fact that I had my saxophone around when the prepared piano was recorded, and it seemed to fit so nicely with the image of the woman appearing in the animation.

Streamed sample (ogg vorbis mp3) of saxophone and piano recording session used in process described above.

Following on is a lower saxophone sound intended to enhance the sexual images of the man and the woman, with the slow piano loop accompanying to keep the pace of the continually moving layers of painting in mind.

There were some specific sync points, where I wanted the sound to match the image quite closely, but I was generally a lot freer with the association than I had been with Sonimation, which involved extremely details sound-vision relationship. I think a much longer time-period to work in and the fact that the film was already an animation in it's own right before I got to work on it were contributors to this.

A couple of sync-points I paid particular attention to, is the way the piano chimes when the woman opens her eyes, and the wiping of the yellow blob at the end, although it is perhaps a little trite, I hope the panning in time with the wiping was quiet enough to be slightly subtle.

In a way, this work was one of the most organised of all the works in my portfolio, as I had a very clear idea of how I was going to compose to the image, and the sounds I wanted to use, almost from conception, when first meeting Clive himself. This 'distant' collaboration was the easiest to accomplish, but almost because of this, the piece was not as interactive a collaboration as the others.