Friday, January 13, 2012

The Marriage of Sight + Sound

Promotional photograph for "June Brides" © 1987  Cathy Cook & Claudia Looze
Baltimore film maker Cathy Cook examined the role of sound design in an intensive video workshop presented on Thursday, January 12, 2012. The abrasive sound of sirens or buzzing flies set viewers on edge while the soothing sound of cascading strings evoke surreal fantasies. Cook described her long term collaborative relationships with sound artists such as Paul Dickinson who have worked on her films over a span of time. In June Brides, a 1987 critique of the marital industrial complex, Cook designed a score that revolved around the off-kilter voices of multiple women singing "Going to the Chapel" (originally sung in a finger-snappin' sugary harmony by the Dixie Cups) exacerbated by a drunken sax solo to communicate the bridal dream gone bad. This pop song that made the Billboard Top 100 in 1964, one could speculate, marked the emergence of Cook's own awareness of the staid roles of women in mid-century America and pushed her to push against the grain as many women of her generation did. The song became a "text" inspiring a visual and aural examination of the meaning of marriage twenty years later. Cook based another of her works, "Immortal Cupboard", on the poetry of Wisconsin poet and recluse Lorine Niedecker. Cook will work with Digital Processes and Electronic Composition students to create collaboarative videos inspired by literary sources with a screening on Monday, March 5, 2012, 7:00 pm in the Warch Campus Center Cinema.

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