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May 24, 1959 - Image 7

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7he teZme q 9At
By PADMA IEJMAIf
ANN ARBOR - with four other in solidity but in light and sound.
centers in the world, at Milan, i("As a composer," says Gordon
C o 1 o g n e, San Francisco, and Mumma "my ultimate concern in
Tokyo - is the scene of challeng- the use of electronic sound sources
is the proper understanding and
ing experiments in a new art form. control of aural space as an ele-
Milton Cohen, an instructor in ment of aural definition")
the architecture and design school, There is a s of total paitici-
and Gordon Mumma. tormer pation in a new reality which will
graduate student in music at the be heightened still further when
University,arr workiig on the
Univrsiy, ae wrkin onthethe imagery and sound is projected
projection of mobile light-color within the proposed dome. As a
imagery synchronized to specially whore contemporary definition of
composed electronic music, that is space the dome is a segment of a
to be played within the surface ofs
sphere suggesting a surface that
a plastic "Dome of Light." echoes the bigger world and worlds
Cohen has recently received a beyond.
Rackham grant for the installa-
tion of this air-structured dome HILE NOT iivilidating paist-
(which will be about 30 feet in . v
diameter) but before this his wok ming, Milton Cohen believes
has been projected on a series of that unlike painting and sculp-
screens located at different angles tre which tend to freeze dimen-
and levels to emphasize its spa- sion, mobile light allows for un-
tial characteristics. The basic im- limited space-play. "Free of arbi-
ages - etched, carved or burned
into long horizontal slides that tiaiy frame hue, li ht may cx-
move automatically through light plore and define form within a
projectors - are further m anipu- total space." And in watching this
lated by means of color and prism di ma of highly controlled color-
wheels. Music which is composed form playing across the inner
with a sound generator and ma'- surface of the dome, the viewer
netic tape is channeled throush may discover a new totality of
a series of loud-speakers pprto pictotial participation, engulfed
priately spaced behind the screens. in fluid Ilit and sound, "In the
mediaeval chapel." says Cohen,
FO THE spectator walkiig i. "surfaced with painting, scelp-
the immediate impreston is of tlres, and mosaic tile, and lit by
htanding in ts ii ii ositionstoislid coiloed Itasacomsplete spa -
oreside o h tdo hr s nIo ?tstial rd iig ' s relizced Today
sWarnitng ofswhat lies ahia syu neully t smpeling ati.tic or-
takc youi cliairi atidthy ih;po!dliN mav be itealizect within
ott, except pcirhaps the a'itiicia-domeditspate.
tion of tin cunknoswniextpeirintc. Pcirha ps the geiltest factor ccii-
Then in the darkness ihere is a tributing to this spatial ordering
stab of liht - maybe a clear, in- and the experiencing of this art
tensse red - appsarig octhefoin is liiepcirftet coordination
screen to is costlly cer, equaully, of Goidon Mtoma's elctronic
inteise impact of soiid;w ideiii and concret music itt the pro-
into abstiact imaes of colo and it cisns ofC tsI t imae anid color
light as thyeinuit begins to un- in Mitons Cobrit ' ait-forums in i-
fold its theme. moving acros the limination. "I wish to establish,"
surfaces, breaking as one screen isays Mumma "ineaninfu artis-
ends and reappearing on the next tic relationships between the dy-
one, gaining depth here and coin nais time-motion of She music
plexity there as the music too ac- and the dynamic time-mobility of
quires cortspondini timbre and the light image
overtones in 'ia uintegrated pattern
of sight and sound. THIS, to the spectator, results
It is a dissolution of the two- in one of the most significant
dimensional four-sided picture aspects of this art form: its tre-
plane. The areas most clearly fo mendously evocative quality, im- E U f'l.xp(ilt c
cused on the screen ithe crystalli- plicit in terms of itself. It does not
nation of sight and sound) merge reproduce anything we have seen and color and sound - recreated
into exquisite patterns, are picked because it does not need to. Even here into an integrated expression
up in oblique flares of light and the most unusual textures of for the static viewer. The color
melt into shadow as thersound sound acquire a rhythm and itself, emerging through a trans-
throbs into silence. Image after grace, rather like listening to parency rather than bouncing off
image moves across the scrrens poetry in an unknown tongue the surface, has the same evoca-
and even beyond them, blurring where the meaning may not be tie quality - with suggestions of
into the edges of darkness where understood but the beauty is ap- jewelled light and the beauty of
the line of demarcation ceases to preciated. It is totally new and stained glass windows, Again,
exist between the end of the Sur- yet it is an inherent blend of past there is no need for the recogniz-
face and the beginning of space. perceptions and hence has a able image of a leaf on the screen,
There is a sense of the picture meaning indisputably its own. yet the green is the pure quality
stepping out of its framework, The artistically manipulated of light through leaves - a full,
breaking through its borders to movement of light and color and vibrant color image of what our
encompass the spectator, bridging sound may be new across the senses have seen, known and re-
the distance between the observer screen but the contemporary membered; a new art form but,
and the observed. vision has been prepared for it. after all, part of a sensuous heri-
In our night world of lights, mov- tage finding its inevitable expres-
AND YET this is something not ing swiftly through the darkness sion in the contemporary world of
immediately apparent for it is we glimpse a dissonance of light light and space.
a world that is strange at first and
incomprehensible. But after a
while, even if you do not under-
stand the abstractions, you begin
to respond to them and find your-
self dissolving into an extremely ESTE RBRO O K
suggestible world of color and
music and light. You are aware
of a heightened consciousness to- M e C D eluxe
ward space; of sudden shifts in OIdi ap PENSO
perspective with regard to move-
ment and complete rest and of

strange new intuitions of rhythm.EWer .
It is an intense experience,
something that cainot be taken
too long at first and is at tines y
almost disturbing for it seems to $
destroy your physical cues, You I
lose your sense of location, of
solid and void, and scale and pro- (While They Lost)
portion - there are glimpses of
sudden unfathomable depths that
leave you uncertain as to whether
it is a part of the universe or you
are the size of an amoeba. Palpa-
ble distance is measured here not
Over 50 years of MORRI LL support
PadinaHeimnadi is a lnin- NO 3-2481 314 South State
versity graduate sutdent in
journalism from Inida.
SUNDAY, MAY 24, 1959

I

VACITION
TRAVEL BUREAU
itt i/ttieats /
1313 South University
NO 2-5587
3

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