A Rocco Din

A Rocco Din (an anagram of accordion) starts with a digital sequencer whose numerical output is used to control the spatial movement of the image of an accordion, whilst also being transformed into MIDI notes. The result is a piece of accordion music which is synchronised with an animated ‘playing’ of the image; a simultaneity that suggests that the sound should in some way be emanating from the instrument (on the screen). Countering this, the graphic representation of the accordion, with its black and white fragmented closeups, communicates that a human hand is not playing the instrument.

A traditional style of melody helps establish the connection between music and image, before the introduction of an element of visual discord. Popular music contains multiple counterpointed parts: drums, a bass line, a chord sequence, and finally a ‘top’ melody. In contrast, the majority of mainstream films involve one or two points of visual attention within a frame. The music in A Rocco Din is formed of a bass and a treble line. Linking the animation to just one of these, would have created untroubled synchronisation, and this is indeed how the piece starts; but as it progresses, the movement of the image is mapped to both parts, the bass making the image move one way, the treble another. This willfully problematises the viewing experience, and combined with ambiguity as to whether sound is driving image, or vice versa, gives what presents itself initially as a cheery animation an underpinning dialectic.

Screened at: Lux Exposure, London, UK (2004), Exploding Cinema, London, UK (2005), 291 Gallery, London, UK (2005), VideoLisboa, Lisbon, Portugal (2005), Berlin Videonale, Berlin, Germany (2006), Memorial Art Gallery, Hastings. UK (2009), London Animation Club, London, UK (2013).