Sunday 6 March 2022, 2pm
Film Talks Live is a series of events related to the book Film Talks: 15 Conversations on Experimental Cinema, recently published by Contact. This event at Cafe Oto is a screening of films by Jayne Parker and Simon Payne alongside a series of piano sonatas by John White performed by Tim Parkinson. In Film Talks Parker and Payne discuss filmic scores and structures alongside a mutual interest in experimental music. Parker’s films have often involved documenting musicians’ performances and an exploration of associations between film form and musical ideas. Payne’s digital videos often centre on bold graphic abstraction, elusive motion effects and illusions of depth. Tim Parkinson has chosen music that chimes with ideas that he sees in the films, extending a conversation between artists and art forms.
Jayne Parker Catalogue of Birds: Book 3 (2006, b/w, 15 minutes)
Catalogue of Birds: Book 3 (‘The tawny owl and the woodlark') is an interpretation of Olivier Messiaen’s music for piano, played by Katerina Wolpe. The imagery and music evoke the habitat and song of these nocturnal birds. Filmed in black and white, symbolic of the cycle of life and death, the owl is a harbinger of transformation, mediating between two worlds – the seen and the unseen, the physical and the spiritual. From the terror of night, the forest opens to grassland, and we hear in the music, the transcendent song of the lark.
Jayne Parker Projection 1 (2000, b/w, 6 minutes)
Anton Lukoszevieze plays Morton Feldman’s Projection 1 (1950) for solo ’cello, twice through. The film is in black and white and has few edits. The strong graphic lines of the ’cello and its strings, and the intersection of the bow, mirror the graphic score from which this piece is played: a film about sound and space.
Simon Payne Set Theory III and IV (2018, colour and b/w, 14 mins)
In the first instance Set Theory involved collating sets of vertical, horizontal, diagonal and arcing graphic transitions. These were subsequently combined and sequenced by way of different rules that keep the conflict of planes, forms, tonal values and colour foremost. There are multiple ways in which the basic elements could have been handled and might be again for new iterations.
Simon Payne Edges: ‘Ladders’ (2019, b/w, 4mins)
'Ladders' is one of a series of digital video pieces in which the edges of the frame are the focus. Here the edges of the screen are paired ladders that separate and come together in phases, matched by sine waves that slowly change pitch in phases.
Tim Parkinson will play a series of piano sonatas by the English experimental composer John White.
‘These pieces are about seven minutes each and from 1969. They are systematic, though the systems themselves are not audibly obvious. The music is quite abstract, with only the barest hint of the charm I associate with John White’s music. These sonatas were all composed days apart in the white heat of the summer of 1969 and exciting involvement in the first meetings of the Scratch Orchestra.’ (TP)
Jayne Parker first explored film as a sculpture student at Canterbury College of Art (1977–80). Her films have often centred on associative montage incorporating the body, choreography and location. She has also had a long-term interest in therelationship between music and film, the search for a ‘music equivalent’. In connection with her films that feature pianist Katharina Wolpe and cellist Anton Lukoszeviesze, she has said: ‘considering music helps me to think about film structurally’.Parker’s work has been shown internationally in major galleries, festivals and on television. She is Professor in Fine Art and Head of Graduate Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Fine Art.
Simon Payne studied time-based media at the Kent Institute of Art and Design, Maidstone (1995–98) and later the Royal College of Art. His videos involve systematic graphic sequences, abstract colour fields and an exploration of digital video aesthetics. They have been shown in festivals and screenings worldwide. He has also written widely on experimental cinema and edited several publications including A.L. Rees’s posthumous Fields of View: Film, Art and Spectatorship (BFI: 2020). Since 2014, he has been co-curating Contactwith Andrew Vallance. He is Associate Professor of Film and Media at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. http://www.simonrpayne.co.uk/
Tim Parkinson is a British experimental composer, pianist and curator. His music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles including Apartment House, the Basel Sinfonietta and the London Sinfonietta, and soloists including Anton Lukoszevieze and Rhodri Davies. It has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Resonance FM, WDR3 (Germany), and Radio SRF 2 Kultur (Switzerland). He is co-curator (with John Lely) of the concert series Music We'd Like to Hear, which has run since 2005, having previously organised concerts at the British Music Information Centre in London from 1997 onwards. https://www.untitledwebsite.com/life