10 minutes 47 seconds
a video sculpture
dance improvisations Mary Anne Santos Newhall
music by David Dunn
steel, acrylic and video
8.5″ H x 12.5″ W x 9.5″ D
This work was inspired by the soundscape, The Sound of Light in Trees by composer David Dunn. This composition addresses, like the video images, the ever changing cycle of life in the natural world and the fragile edge between life and death. It comes from Dunn’s field recordings of the bark beetle infestation of conifers in the Western US. Dunn has made transducers that he places on pinion trees to hear beetle activity. The transducers have enabled him to hear when a tree has been infected well before there is any visual manifestation of the beetles’ presence. Dunn, a well known electronic composer (he won the 2005 Herb Alpert award) is also celebrated and respected for the field recordings he has made throughout the world.
The dancer’s expressions and gestures – masked and unmasked – may suggest how we build meaning for ourselves about the changing cycles in the natural world and how we respond to those cycles – birth, growth, decay and death – in our own bodies and lives.