SINKEN (1999)

© GRANULAR≈SYNTHESIS (Kurt Hentschläger & Ulf Langheinrich)
Featuring Performer Michael Ashcroft

Single Channel Video, Stereo Sound, Duration 20:19

Created originally for Orchestre National de Lille, as part of a
project of-and performed by french Collective Art Zoyd.

The overall tenor of SINKEN is contemplative, featuring a sense of slow motion and time standing still. The audience usually first passes through a phase of frustration, with the absence of dramatic development, before reaching a state of heightened concentration and trance like relaxation.

The digital audiovisual material is almost entirely abstract, yet still organic and clearly alive and breathing. It stems from processed and zoomed in human torso footage, becoming close up texture rather than discernible human form, and eerily so.

A unrelenting glissando, played by 48 string instrument musicians of the live orchstre, is met by minimal, pumping and flickering, audiovisual movements. Sonically, SINKEN is starting off with a narrow band of detuned violins, sliding downwards in perceived pitch, and eventually ending in a physical rumble of deep double bass notes. The final bass part is supported by pre-recorded and amplified double bass sounds. At that time the video has started flickering in stroboscopic dark blue and black .
The orchestral score, although conceptually simple, proved to be unusually demanding for the musicians.

Video/Audio samples from a seven minute dedicated performance for camera by british performer Michael Ashcroft, recorded in 1995 in Cardiff, have served G~S as a source of inspiration for many years. After the initial production for WE WANT GOD NOW and later FORM the material finally also became the foundation for SINKEN, a composition for string-orchestra and parallel audiovisual track.

SINKEN was commissioned by Art Zoyd and Orchestre National de Lille for the “Dangerous Visions” program of 1999 for shows in Maubeuge and Lille in northern France. It had two more presentations at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City with the National Orchestra of Mexico and at the Donau Festival, St.Poelten with the Niederoesterreichisches Tonkuenstlerorchester.

The SINKEN video is projected across a four screens forming a panoramic stretch. Together with to the composition played by the string orchestra, the electronic soundscape, as part of the video, is diffused through surround speakers, around the audience.

© Kurt Hentschläger 2022