The Time in Tokyo

Music, Barbara Held
Video, Francesca Llopis

pdf in Spanish

Painter Francesca Llopis and flutist Barbara Held have experimented with many different time forms, from performance defined by a scenography of objects, fans and special lighting (Upper Air Observation), to site-specific outdoor installations (6.4.89 Tienanmen), video installation (Gotescauen 2007), single channel video (S.T., 2009), (Drums, Desire…, 2007) (HOMMM, 2004) and collaborative performances with live video/sound.

“The Time in Tokyo” is a work in progress for live video and sound. Last Christmas, Francesca Llopismade the first of what will be a series of trips to Japan, and brought back a wealth of video footage, as much considered for the sound as for the image. A Spaniard whose childhood ambition was to live on the noisiest possible street corner, she was amazed at the impression of silence, even in the middle of the city of Tokyo. This piece uses much of the original video soundtrack, as in many cases it was composed directly to the camera.
In our time, music has been totally transformed by the influence of Asian philosophy, especially the sense of time and combination of silence and intensity of Japanese music, “sound in fragments in-between silence” as notated by Yuji Takahashi. “The Time in Tokyo” is based on the physical phenomena of sound as meditation.  Maya Deren said that there is a woman’s time sense.  It is true that each person, each country has a particular cadence.  Here, music and found sound connect to my roots as a flutist in the 20th century, and to a personal musical rhythm.  A 28 minute video of the full moon rising over beach dunes keeps time as a backdrop for images from Japan, sometimes narrative, filmed with the contemplative sense of the painter, who observes the image and makes it her own.

Scene 2


The following is a demo of scene 3, and attempts to give a sense of the shape of a live performance, and is not meant to be an edited video composition.

Scene 3