Two film shorts, Zero Waiting and Into Being, The River feature sound designs by Susan Alexjander in collaboration with filmmaker Diana Hobson (and former sculptor and glassmaker) from London, UK. Soundtracks for both films feature unusual tunings based on the organic frequencies of DNA, elements, molecular frequencies of water, and pulsar spins woven into the fabric of the music.
ZERO WAITING (4 1/2 minutes, looped. DVD.) is an artistic interpretation through sound and visuals of Zero Point Energy, the quantum field that makes up our Universe. Science has now determined that the Universe is not empty space but is rather a plenum, a fullness of energy that is beyond time and light. It connects everything that exists in a web-like hologram. It seethes with life and power; there is no lack of creativity and possibility. We are an intimate part of this energy, and it gains expression through each and every one of us.
The visuals of Diana Hobson’s imagination are stunning, from galaxies to the delicacy of jellyfish. The accompanying soundtrack by Susan Alexjander features natural sounds such as fire, thunder, a tornado, crickets, cosmic radiation recorded from space as well as a pulsar recording of Vela X. There are also translated frequencies of elements, water, and sounds that may possibly constitute the resonant frequencies of the Great Pyramid. We also hear a recording of the King’s sarcophagus as it is struck – a gong-like beauty.
Central to the piece is an aboriginal ‘spinner’, or whirrer, believed to be associated with the original energy of vortex creation. The protectress of this film is Hekate, the Goddess of the Vortex and the Greek and Roman divinity most concerned with man’s transcendence. Her voice in the film is heard as murmuring, coming from within fire, as she is often first beheld and heard as fire herself.
“With this work our intention is to trigger/awaken elementary/ Elemental Memory/Mind.”
In a video installation of the element of water (the river), poetry, with sounds and frequencies of elemental and subtle form, we hope to trigger and awaken in our ancient consciousness, a cellular memory as old as First Thought, a strand of vital DNA in the multidimensional chain of being”. — (DH 10.25.02)
an atom of consciousness
I heard her name in the silence
and from oblivion
she moves silently
To hold the Sun in our eye
and the BLINK
of the eye of the Sun
in our face
Composer Susan Alexjander on the Soundtrack of Into Being – The River
Into Being – The River seeks to immerse the viewer in an ancient place of remembrance, of First Thought, and celebrates our connection to the All and to each other. This ‘fragrance’ of Ancient Memory is a subtle and fragile thing to try to bring forth into our everyday consciousness, but Diana and I feel that one of its most powerful pathways is through the consciousness of water, which is everywhere…even in the stars.
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Water…that most humble and magnificent ancestor, common to all living forms.
Our soundtrack uses sounds on three levels, each one ‘reminding’ us in slightly different ways:
- Natural river (earth) sounds already beloved and familiar:
Water, birds, crickets, the snapping of twigs, the rush of wind and waterfall, rain.
- Sounds which suggest the watery voice of the riverworld: Claves, bamboo chimes, clay whistle, composed music and percussion.
- Scientific frequencies derived from the molecular worlds of water, DNA and elements, and the macro world of the stars (pulsars – the tiny spinning remnants of a blown supernova). It is possible to gather scientific, vibrational frequencies of almost anything in our world that jiggles, stretches, rotates or creates a pulse. The atomic world does this, as do the stars. I take these frequencies and program the numbers into a Yamaha synthesizer which plays them back to me as if they were sound and gives me a palatte of microtones to work with. I have woven them throughout the soundtrack. (see articles).
Some examples in the film:
We hear an opening drone tone on E which represents the incredibly powerful element hydrogen, the Proto Mother of our entire elemental world. It comes from a frequency radiating from the nucleus of the hydrogen atom, called a Larmor Frequency. The cascading lights just after the poem are made up of pulsar frequencies as they sweep their beams of radio waves around the galaxies, and the frequencies of water (H2O) are heard at the moment of the little light ‘carpets’.. little descending squares which continue to be a mystery to both Diana and myself! And so on.
Perhaps these sounds will ‘trigger’ a flicker of familiarity and remembrance in our sensitive energy bodies. At the very least, I hope that they might please the ear and help carry you along the Great Tone River”. (S.A. 2003)
About Diana Hobson
Artist Diana Hobson has had a vibrant, varied career as a sculptor in glass and mixed media in her native England over many years. She is a graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, and in the ’80´s redeveloped a ‘lost´ art – a process of glassmaking called Pate de Verre.
Diana has won numerous prizes and foundation awards including the prestigous Coburg prize in 1985, the Rakow award from Corning Museum of Glass, NY in 1989 and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Prize in 1998. She has traveled widely leading workshops and exhibiting throughout Europe, in Japan, New Zealand, and the US. Her work is on display and in the collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, LA County Museum, Cooper Hewitt Museum, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art and in many other international galleries.
She began working with video and installation in 2003 with INTO BEING – THE RIVER in collaboration with composer Susan Alexjander, first shown at the Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz. Their second collaboration ZERO WAITING a video installation involving other media was created for The Salt Gallery in Cornwall, England in 2005.
Diana exhibits internationally and now lives and works in her studio in Boulder Creek, CA.