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Onwards & Upwards

RMG Residency; AlgoRhythm #2


Artist in Residence at the RMG

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery has given me the honour of being their ArtLab Artist in Residence during January, 2017.

I am most grateful for this terrific opportunity. I have long had a vision of creating a certain kind of space that I refer to as The Network Vista, and at last I will have the time, space, and support to transfer that vision from elusive neural signals to hardcopy.

I will discuss The Network Vista at greater length in a future blog post; for now, let me just introduce the concept: a deep and complex space filled with rhythm and symmetry, like tiny hints of some crystalline abstract megacity. If, as Goethe said, Architecture is Frozen Music, my goal is nothing less than creating a truly musical space which I will preserve as geometric abstractionist photographs.

Those who have followed my career (Bless you, Donna!) know that one of my primary artistic goals is to create visual music. The RMG has generously granted me a way to get hands-on experience constructing the spaces that I will not only photograph, but will eventually build and animate on the computer to create my AlgoRhythms. This residency could be the absolutely vital step in my artistic growth to help me fulfill my vision.

I am immensely grateful to the RMG for providing me with the opportunity to make my dream a reality!
To build The Network Vista I will use a variety of building and construction sets, especially those that are transparent, like Magna-Tiles or PlayPlax, or that can connect along more than one axis, like Rockenbok. I will also need a lot of mirrors.

Some elements will move, and lighting will have its own unique requirements. I was originally thinking that Lego Technics or Lego Mindstorm would be good options, but now I'm thinking that perhaps a microcontroller like Arduino would serve my needs better since that would give me algorithmic control over the simple, smooth, repetitive motions and LED lighting I require.

I will need a goodly amount of such toys, so donations or sponsorships leads are sought and welcomed!

I also welcome help from the public to construct my abstract city, whether it's children assembling girders, or expert hobbyists who know their way around robotics. I need you.

If you, or someone you know, would have fun being part of this art project, please contact me! aleksi [ at ] aleksimoriarty.com

AlgoRhythm #2

Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata in C, K. 95

Speaking of AlgoRhythms, I have completed my second one to a short sonata by Domenico Scarlatti, a composer I have always loved.

My first exposure to D. Scarlatti's music was Wendy Carlos's The Well-Tempered Synthesizer, her followup album to her platinum selling Switched-On Bach. The album had four Scarlatti's Sonatas, and I played them with an almost disconcerting obsession.

Scarlatti's genius for creative invention knew no bounds. Though his sonatas share structural similarities, no two of the 555 sonatas he composed sound alike.

AlgoRhythm 2 is my latest procedurally generated piece of visual music. I chose one of his shortest pieces to visualize, a veritable baroque minimalistic whirlwind. It's a challenge for the performer to play, the right hand having to frequently and quickly cross over the left hand to play the bass notes whilst the left hand furiously repeats arpeggios.

It's a really fun and playful piece with a manic energy that I tried to capture with a few functions, including a strictly controlled particle system.

You can view the piece here or on my Visual Music page.
In further visual music news, my visualization of Khachaturian's Sabre Dance will be performed with live accompaniment by the Rochester Philharmonic on May 22 for a special animation concert!
Sabre Dance was a finalist in the 3rd Annual Speechless Film Festival, Visual Music category, sponsored by Ion Concert Media.

The sponsor of the contest sought to find artists who could visualize music, as well as promote their Muséik application which syncs film to the conductor's tempi. This app liberates conductors and musicians to perform a piece at their own tempi, rather than force their tempi to sync with the film as they usually must. Their app is employed by an increasing number of venues, and it will be used for this concert. Ion's application is well poised to make traditional concerts more of a multimedia event with greater ease, and will hopefully draw new and younger crowds to replenish art music's ageing audience.

So for me this concert is an excellent and encouraging sign of things to come.

(Plus, I'm actually getting a royalty for the performance!)

The Bosco Project: Updates

  • Mark Osborne is a fan of Bosco
Mark Osborne, the brilliant director of Kung-Fu Panda and the recently released The Little Prince (which deservedly won this year's Cesar award (France's Oscar) for best animated feature!), had this say about The Bosco Project:
These are genius. The titles are making me laugh out loud. Excellent! I want to see more!!
  • Bosco is Ordained!
The RMG, in addition to honouring me with a residency, will hang Bosco Thinking on their gallery walls for their 50th Anniversary Show.

  • Upcoming Interview
I was recently interviewed for an online horror magazine about the inspiration behind, and the creative methodology I use for, The Bosco Project. I will announce when the interview is published.

Back to an Old Grind

Like the actor who needs to sling hash between gigs before his big break, so I find myself having to return to the industry I left a few years ago: Computer Graphics FX and Animation.

Not that I'm not grateful that I was quickly embraced back into the fold when the need for a paycheck asserted itself, for I am. We knew, my wife and I, that leaving the comfort and security of a steady paycheck to make a living as a fulltime artist -- especially a late-blooming one -- wouldn't happen overnight.

But the ground has been well laid and I am confident that I will eventually sustain my family with my art and photography. As a good friend of mine once said, "It takes a long time for change to happen quickly."

It's unfortunate that I won't have the luxury of time to devote to my art that I've grown accustomed to this past year. Yet I don't consider this a setback at all; if anything I'm grateful to have something to fall back on, and it's great to work again with the many talented and wonderful people whom I've missed. But my confidence is stronger than ever: the many seeds I've planted during the interim promise to bear fruit, as this newsletter attests.

Other News

  • Newsletter #2's Raffle Winner
Congratulations to Nina S. of Hamburg, Germany for winning a 14x10.5 limited edition print of Heber Down Trail #1!
  • The Station Gallery's Drawing for Art 2016 #DFA2016
It was my first time attending this wonderful and important local event. I was very surprised, and very pleased, at the turnout for the annual Drawing for Art fundraiser at Whitby's Station Gallery. It was packed with local art-lovers and dignitaries (mayor, councillors, MPP, MP), so much so that it was difficult to negotiate the maze between tightly packed bodies to get from here to there. The energy was high, there was lots of art of every variety to look at, everyone looked good, and a great time was had by all it seems. And, the topping on my cake, is that my contribution to the draw (a photo of nearby Trafalgar Castle) was received so well.
  • Formatting
My apologies if the formatting of this newsletter leaves something to be desired. It looks fine to me, but it seems that something may happen (or not) to the formatting depending on which email service it's read on, and I cannot easily replicate the results.

If you had any difficulty with this newsletter I apologize, and ask that please let me know. If possible, a screen grab would be very helpful.
  • Discount Reminder
All subscribers to my newsletter get a 15% discount to any limited edition (unframed) print, and 10% off a House Portrait!
House Portrait: 408 Byron
Thank you for reading! Hope to hear from you soon.
Recommend me to your friends (the ones with taste, please).

Copyright © 2015 Aleksi Moriarty, All rights reserved.