SD video w/ Dolby Digital 5.1 audio - 2006 + 2008
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Evaporated Music
General Comments

The original concept for Evaporated Music was extremely simple: take complete video clips without altering anything of the original visuals, then totally re-design the soundtrack, replacing the original songs with a cinematic sound design incorporating sound effects, atmospheres and foley. Both the logistics of carrying this idea through, plus the effects of experiencing the resultant audiovisual work have both been considerably more complex.

The strategy of emphasing the audio in so-called visual media (cinema, video, television, etc.) has been central to Philip Brophy's productions and writings. Taking an oppositional tack to the idea of 'cut-up' (from montage through to sampling) which is generally focussed on a single and disconnected medium (either just cutting up image but nor the sound, or cutting-up audio slabs of video but without any accompanying visuals) Philip is more concerned with 'becoming' the audiovisual rather than contributing further to its modernist fragmentation. 'Becoming' in the instance of Evaporated Music means creating a new audiovisual sonorum that appears to be a thorough integration of the original video clip narratives, but at the same time is a transfiguration of the original texts. The clips of Evaporated Music - wholly untampered at the visual surface where most people concentrate their reading of the electronic/televisual/digital media - effect the becoming of something beyond the original clips.

The concept of penetrating and inhabiting the audiovisual-drome that characterizes video clips is central to the processes employed for Evaporated Music's production. The slicing, dicing & chopping of optical slabs which characterize the 'MTV-effect' of McLuhan-esque accelerated montage and televisual are - via Evaporated Music's reconstructions - rendered raw and unprocessed. The musical atomization which allows the performers to bath in the aural glow of pop music studio production is now palpably absent: the performer's stage has collapsed; their costumes removed; their presence extinguished. In short, the performers are rendered in uncomfortable surroundings: their spectacular imaginary world is sonically transformed into an unwelcoming sonorum. When music evaporates from the audio-visual flow, the sonic terrorizes all image residue; invisible noises filter through the unmodulated plane of silence which frames the image track.

Audiovisuality persistently remains the most primal and sensual compound experience - despite a long succession of mediarized 'revolutions' (the electronic, the televisual, the digital). Through each of those revolutions' faux-radicalized reinventions of limiting ocular/visual codes, the audio-visual meld is rarely priviledged, guaranteed, highlighted. Yet audiovisuality is the core realm where both image and sound - alone and combined - are at their most fluid, their most malleable, their most reconstitutable. Amidst the intense circulation that occurs there, one perceives that all sounds and images can be grafted wherever they may hold. Sounds and images then are less containers of meaning - as if they are 'modern media' versions of the arcana of words, sentences and paragraphs; sounds and images - as veins of audiovisual energy - are more tissue of matter.

For information on the first installment of this project: Evaporated Music 1

For information on the third installment of this project: Evaporated Music 3: Classical Corpus Delecti

Evaporated Music 2
At the Mouth of Metal

Continuing Evaporated Music 1's aural surgery performed on the audiovisual skin of 6 mainstream iconic videos, Evaporated Music 2 directs its sonic scalpel to 6 prime examples of late-80s/early-90s family-oriented TV series depicting band scenes in comforting settings. The selected series highlight the forced means by which television ineptly attempts to incorporate rock into its hermetic domain. Most of the 6 parts feature actors pretending to be band musicians, and all are the result of lipsynching focused more on character acting than musical performance. The settings of the selected 6 parts cover the major 'fantasized spaces' in which rock music is thought to be born: the small club (California Dreams), the television studio (Pugwall), the rehearsal studio (Full House), the disused warehouse (The Heights), the 'local teen hangout malt shop' (Kids Incorporated), the home garage and the concert hall (both in Saved By The Bell). Television's low-budget 'dream machinry' is the perfect medium for cheaply mythologising how that 'hit song' was first formulated, and all the selected episodes play slippery lip service to such phantasmal occurrences.

While Evaporated Music 2 retains these near-repulsive images of wholesomeness with eyes-wide-open, the rescored music tracks welcome the most Other of music - Metal - and amplifies its guttural expulsions through the healthy bodies of television's dream of contented pop music. Subtitled "At the Mouth of Metal", Evaporated Music 2 opens up the dead zone of the family televisual fare and inhales its hidden dissonance. Like Satan summoned in the midst of the high school prom, Evaporated Music 2 rescores these vapid TV studio-floor moments with the sound of Metal. Think Disney riddled with cancer. Or The Wiggles sweating with Hep B.

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