The true nature of this project evades simple classification. To say it is solely a work of music, or a film, or even a journey, is either misleading or sells it short. Created over a period of 13 weeks of labor, “Water, Wood, and Whisperings of the Inviolable Entity” is perhaps most plainly described as an audio/visual experience. But that doesn’t quite seem to justify the amount of time and resources devoted to it. A more accurate description, albeit far more cluttered, is to say that it is a composition that merges fixed (consistent through multiple performances) visual and audio content with in-the-moment (unique to separate performances) audio and musical content, perceived by the audience through multi-channel speakers placed surrounding the performance space. With four speakers placed around the audience, I orchestrated exactly where I wanted the sounds to come from—behind, to the side of, or in front of the audience. These decisions were made in-the-moment, for the most part, the exceptions being a few signpost moments in the piece that required precision. Accompanying the audio content, is a film that I created using film-editing software available to students in the Conservatory of Music’s computer lab. Simultaneous to both the audio and visual content, I played live electric guitar. All these audio, visual and musical elements were coordinated as a live performance by a computer program which I designed especially to facilitate the presentation of the piece. To be able to create such a work of art using professional-grade hardware and software, available through the Conservatory of Music and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at the University of the Pacific, is uncommon and invaluable. Not many undergraduate students at comparable universities can say they had the opportunity to engage in such an undertaking.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/scott-nelson/25/