Copyright © 2011 - 2018, Walker Thisted
Site: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (where the performance took place), Symphonic Metamorphosis on a Theme of Weber (the music to which the video was set), and Jean-Luc Godard's Histories of Cinema (the archival footage hat was used to create the video)
Medium: appropriated digital video, 20 minutes
Date: Fall 2013
Description: This work was commissioned by the Lakeview Orchestra for a concert on October 1st, 2013. In 1940, Hindemith was asked by Leonide Massine to compose music based on Carl Maria von Weber for a new ballet . Hindemith disliked the choreography of Massine and Massine the music of Hindemith. Hindemith’s affinity for Weber, however, is quite clear. Hence, the birth of the masterful Symphonic Metamorphosis. When considering how best to add a moving visual element to the work, a desire to create a series of variations based on an earlier master working in the media of film emerged. Choosing to work with Jean-Luc Godard’s Histories of Cinema, has allowed am to pay tribute both to the idea of creating a work based an earlier work that is itself a set of variations and to capitalize upon the range of visual and narrative content of the Histories in order to highlight musical and narrative themes in the Metamorphosis. In selecting and re-arranging elements from Godard’s Histories – which are themselves selected from the history of cinema and re-arranged within the story that Godard wishes to tell – I have created a companion piece that highlights the war torn period in which Hindemith composed the work, the frenetic and increasingly mechanized motion of the period, the history of western music itself, and the moments of incredible innocence and longing that emerge from the chaos.