Intersections (2017, 10’, colour, stereo)
Music: Michael Parsons - Intersections, for two bass clarinets (2015).
Musicians: David Ryan and Ian Mitchell.
The score for Intersections is comprised of twelve linear figures, each with six points, set out across a conventional stave. Accompanying instructions suggest a range of ways in which the musicians might get from one point to the next. For the purposes of the film, the musicians were recorded playing the piece from several cameras located at positions suggested by the angles and lines in the score. Several iterations of the video were explored before settling on this final version, which cuts between different combinations of material shot from six positions.
Michael Parsons has been active as a composer and performer of experimental music since the mid 1960s. With Cornelius Cardew and Howard Skempton he was co-founder of the Scratch Orchestra in 1969. Parsons' music is influenced by Anton Webern, composers of the so-called New York school, various English composers he met through Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra, and "Systems" artists such as Malcolm Hughes and Jeffrey Steele.
David Ryan is a visual artist and writer based in London and Cambridge, who is also actively involved in contemporary music, playing and presenting modernist and contemporary experimental works. Recent music performances include presentations of his own work Recitativo, Fragments (After Lucretius and Negri) a continuous work-in-progress that brings together text, voice, sound, music and images. In 2016 he was the Abbey Fellow in Painting at the British School in Rome.
Ian Mitchell has performed worldwide as soloist and chamber musician, including in North Korea, the first (and probably only!) British clarinettist to appear there. He has recorded with ensembles as diverse as The Monteverdi Orchestra, AMM, The Michael Nyman Band, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Liria, an Albanian folk band. His CD of works for bass clarinet was the first by a British artist, and he has commissioned nearly 50 works for the instrument. He is Director of the chamber ensemble Gemini.