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 has consistently pursued an independent path, seeking to engage with whatever it means today to be a functioning composer in the world. His music has been labelled as experimental, "reconstructing music from the ground up", and "sounding like nothing else", the work invariably returning to fundamental enquiries around the meaning of sound. He has been associated with other British independent voices of the same generation, such as Bailie, Harrison, Newland, Saunders, Whitty. His music is mostly performed by a dedicated community of friends and musicians, but he has also written for various groups and ensembles including Plus Minus, Apartment House, [rout], Incidental Music, Dedalus, Edges, Basel Sinfonietta, London Sinfonietta; and for various instrumentalists including Stephen Altoft, Angharad Davies, Rhodri Davies, Julia Eckhardt, Tanja Masanti, Andrew Sparling, Craig Shepard, Silvia Tarozzi, Philip Thomas, Stefan Thut, Deborah Walker. His music has been performed in UK, Europe, USA, Armenia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Broadcasts of music have been on BBC Radio 3, Resonance FM, WDR Köln, and Schweizer Radio SRF2. Two albums of music have been released on Edition Wandelweiser (2006, 2010); in 2019 Piano Music 2015-16 was released on all that dust, and the electro-opera Pleasure Island was released on Slip as vinyl and download, followed in 2020 by Here Comes A Monster released on Takuroku. In 2021 songs 2011 were included on a split release Time Is Over with work by Travis Just on awavepress. In 2022 Another Timbre released an album of a selection of chamber works from 1998-2017.