How can we imagine the creation of a visual art work starting from the gesture of a violin bow?
What creative act does the musical interpretation of the violin generate through the video art?
The word gesture derives from the Latin verb gerere which means to do, to represent, to produce. We can define it as a movement of the body, arm, hand
or head that communicates a state of mind.
The gesture, in the musical interpretation of any string instrument, is fundamental for the final result of any piece.
The gesture creates the musical phrasing, constantly balancing between weight and speed; interacting with the strings on a wide range of variables
that determine pronunciation and phrasing, that makes the music itself.
In the violin execution, the bow technique is built on the movement of the arm and the right hand. It is a very precise art, and the many violin schools that developed in Europe over the last three centuries have codified all of its components, leaving us precise indications in the violin treatises.
In the Audio Visual project, “Bow Visual Gesture” we have developed a multimedia system based on the direct experimentation of the bow gesture which during the musical interpretation generates a series of images through the movement of the bow itself. It develops a multimedia narrative flow that offers to the public a multisensory audio-visual experience, expanding into acoustics of the space and the video projection.
We imagined, designed and created an interdisciplinary interaction between musical performance through a special bow and the work of video projection
based on the synergy between musician-violinist and technician-video artist following the flow of music and giving it an extra, added meaning. We developed a system that connects the movement of the bow to the video projection through a modified arc, enriched by an accelerometer sensor connected to electrical wires. This is certainly an extraneous element for the bow but functional to the show.
The movement of the bow, the shapes, the colors and the shadows are the parameters we use to create the interaction between the bow gesture and the image. The shapes we choose are determined by the artistic choices we make in relation to each piece. We use different shapes within which we insert
images and then play with their distortion. We use shadows that allow us to glimpse as a sort of print of the image, leaving a trail of spots that represent the shadows of the image, thus creating a “delay” in the image.
To explore the possibilities of mapping the musical bow gesture into multimedia drawing and programming work, we use the graphic features of two programs that allow us to make an analog digital intertwining. The information received from the sensor on the tip of the bow, connected to a digital platform, gives us the coordinates of the bow using 3 position-parameters and thus allowing us to generate a real-time response of the bow gesture on the screen and its consequent image. All the images created are modified during the show by playing with the 3 parameters being the result of an improvisation in close relationship with the energy transmitted by the musician. The color palette varies according to the sections, thus enabling the audience to pay attention to the musical development of the piece by noticing the correspondence with different colors.
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