Negotiating Dialogues, Sept 2021
Visual Render #2
Carmen Menza - Composer, Poet, Creative Director, Producer
Joel Olivas - Design, Animation, VFX done in Notch and TouchDesigner
Mark Menza - Composer, Music Producer
Eric Farrar - Vibraphone, Technical Support
World Premiere - Dallas Symphony Orchestra's SOLUNA Festival and The Cedars Union Co-Commission
Five movement modern chamber work, four Interludes with spoken word, generative visuals created with Notch, Touch Designer, Digital Performer playback/real time editing, Four screen HD projection
Dallas-based visual artist and musician Carmen Menza premieres a modern, multi-movement chamber work employing improvisation, spoken word and generative visuals. This newly premiered work brings together a creative team featuring Mark Menza, Eric Farrar and Joel Olivas and musicians of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Language, a technology that utilizes various visual, musical, spoken and written methodologies to make connections with other humans and with machines. Our technological advances in communication are changing the way we dialogue not only with each other, but also with machines. We are on a path to a more symbiotic union with machines as we give them more roles in everyday aspects of our lives. My interdisciplinary practice utilizes music, generative visuals, video and light to explore the connections between humans and machines.
I am especially interested in interactive and generative works that encourage artistic collaboration between myself and community. I sculpt spaces and “tune” them for immersive experiences utilizing digital processes as a creative collaborator in my works, embracing the unexpected and circuitous path to surprise.
In this work titled Negotiating Dialogues I explore performance of visual and musical dialogue in the world of generative animation and remixing. Movements or “phrases” are manipulated and altered both musically and visually by building new phrases with what preceded. It is alteration and improvisation resulting in a process of interactive real time re-composition. It is “themes and variation” in a whole new light. Musicians have a dialogue with each other, with algorithms that create generative visuals and through reintroduction of previously performed phrases, they have a dialogue with their former selves.
I invite viewers to see a new relationship between our natural world and new media art by employing different methods of listening, composition, and performance. Exploring the space between different methods of communication I hope we find harmonious points of connection.
Members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Tom Demer - Viola
Nan Zhang - Cello
Andrew Sandwick - Clarinet
*Negotiating Dialogues is a recipient of a grant from the TACA New Works Fund and a recipient of an Arts Activate 2020/City of Dallas Office of Arts & Culture grant. Still photo by Sylvia Elzafon, Video by Paperlyte Films.