The compositional technique 'Passacaglia' which is often used in classical music forms the basis of the audiovisual project. This movement form is built up by a steady, unchanged bass line, on the basis on which various harmonic and melodic structures are created. Untitled [Passacaglia] approaches this principle on both an acoustic and a visual level. Moving images and music simultaneously unfold the same formal course in the form of a passacaglia but implement these peculiarities of the respective medium.
The musical part of Untitled [Passacaglia] uses a sample of a baroque viola sonata as the basic building block for a cello-like bass melody that runs unchanged through the entire composition. Instead of the harmonic and melodic variation of a baroque Passacaglia, here the variation takes place in the sound itself. Different timbres, samples and self-recorded passages are increasingly added to the cello-like basic shape. This creates an increasingly colorful collage that is superimposed on the basic theme. By this a seemingly convoluted development occurs which gradually alignes with the theme of the Passacaglia and finally reduces back to the basic theme in a kind of circular movement.
The visual part of Untitled [Passacaglia] takes up the etymological origin of the Passacaglia. The word is made up of “pasar” (to cross) and “calle” (street). In reference to this the camera moves forward on a small path in a forest. As a counterpart to the repeated bass line in the music, the video uses a vertigo effect that develops synchronously with the bass line. The video pictures are edited by various image manipulations, screen divisions, graphic elements and abstract material. A kaleidoscopic landscape emerges from the forest path, which is constantly traversed.
The interplay of moving images and music creates a hypnotic effect, transforming into a dream-like atmosphere and out again unnoticed.
MandelBaum (aka Manuel Baumer)