The Visual Music Village

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Program Notes
Farewell to Los Angeles
Music, poetry, and images by Otto Laske
Duration 12:20 min., 2012

Farewell to Los Angeles is based on my reading of a poem of the same title which I embedded in selections from three pieces of my electronic music repertory. As a composition, the music stands on its own. It is part of a large compositional oeuvre that can be found on http://www.ottolaske.com/music.html, specifically the compositions "Message to the Messiah", "In Memory", and "Trilogy" (Erwachen, Ganymed), composed between 1978 and 2001.

The video itself comprises six sections; it combines images, spoken poetry, and music. The design of the video follows the stanzas of the poem as carried by the music, assiduously referencing the structure of the music. The images worked from are themselves collages that morph into each other; all of them are taken from the internet and enriched in Studio Artist.

Esthetically, the video strives to render the poem in its fullness (video poetry). The poem achieves its ultimate form as a film accompanied by speech carried by music, -- a little "Gesammtkunstwerk" of the 21st century.

The central topic of Farewell is the human condition of living with love, loss and departure, seen as the seeding source of poetry. Poetry is conceived as a “release of words in silent innuendos” that has the power of the sea. This is conveyed in the video by the spoken text, as well as the wind-scattered words, of its central section. From a musical perspective, the video might be said to be in the tradition of German Lieder, whose source is Franz Schubert (1797-1828).

The film is dedicated to Nadine Boughton. Dennis Miller was a wonderful mentor in coping with some of the big technical difficulties encountered.

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