SKAMMDEGI / NÁTTLEYSI
Inspired by the seasonal light cycles that guide life in the north, Skammdegi/Náttleysi is a large scale commissioning project that took Passepartout Duo through the Nordic countries in 2018. The duo asked composers from Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands to write music that evokes the energy of nightless summer days and the introspection of the dark winter. Making use of weather data, a light installation, and poetic impressions, the pieces encapsulate features of this unique part of the world.
With support from:
Nicoletta Favari, Christopher Salvito, Yumo Wu, and Yannis Zhang arrived in Ólafsfjörður, Iceland on December 1st, 2017. Positioned just half a degree south of the Arctic Circle, the four spent nine weeks without sun reflecting on the connections between artists, the environment, and the unique local community. A collaboration between two musicians and two visual artists, the end result is an album containing four original tracks alongside cyanotype prints, inspired by this small fishing town during winter.
AnyOne Workspace // Yannis Zhang & Yumo Wu (cn)
Listhús Artist Residency (is)
Released December 21st, 2018
Sound Envelopes are electronic musical postcards, created by Passepartout Duo.
Like any postcard, Sound Envelopes capture a moment with the intention of it being shared with others. Each Sound Envelope contains a musical track that can be heard through headphones when the postcard is plugged in via USB, alongside a print created by a local artist from the location in which the postcard was created. Intending to draw connections between people and places, the Sound Envelopes are each gifted to a recipient with directions to pass it along to someone further. The result is a chain of locations connected through music, people, and travel.
The first location in which Sound Envelopes were created was Rauma Finland. There, the duo created a set of five from local birch wood with prints by the Finnish artist Mari Aspola. After organizing small performances in homes around town, the postcards were given as gifts to five different recipients on Christmas Day 2018. The postcards then slowly traveled hand in hand from Finland to Nakanojo, Japan, the site of a future exhibition date at the Nakanojo Biennale 2019. Two of these five original postcards made the entire journey and, alongside newly created Japanese ones with prints by Hiromi Hoshino, were put installed for the exhibition.
心 裁 / HEARTWOOD
For keyboards, electronics, and hand crafted wooden instruments.
Titled with a Chinese homophone that can be interpreted as both “heartwood” and “the conception of an unconventional idea”, 心裁 is a collaboration between Thrudesign / 素元 and Passepartout Duo.
The project was started as part of the duo’s residency in Beijing with AnyOne, in the T3 International Art Community. Thrudesign, a furniture design company, provided instruments from their store that were created by the instrument maker Auris.
Inspired by the simple constraints given by the instruments, their clear symmetry, and their beautiful design, the music centers around fundamental structures and procedures that give way to underlying complexities through superimpositions, electronic manipulations, and timbral shifts.
The music is also largely inspired by tea and tea culture, and the discussions over tea that were often a creative force for the duo during their stay in China.
A series of eight paintings created with sound by Jia Jing & Passepartout Duo
Focusing on the digital connection between visual art and music, Moving Ground takes raw data from images of Jia Jing’s paintings and converts it into audio that is manipulated through live electronic improvisations. The resulting sounds create a new painting again when an old amplifier’s vibrations move pigments across the artist’s paper. In this way, the performance creates both visual and auditory feedback loops. The vibrations and movements created by a speaker are normally quite subtle, so fairly extreme aesthetics needed to be used to create the vibrations necessary. In other words, this piece is loud, messy, and a physical experience for its audience members.
Resulting from a desire to continually introduce other mediums into their practices, Jia Jing and Passepartout Duo began collaborating after meeting during the duo’s residency with AnyOne in the T3 International Art Community in Beijing, China. Eight paintings and an accompanying video were shown for the first time on May 22nd, 2019 at Semi-Underground Space (AnyOne’s dedicated gallery space.)
AS WE SPEAK
As We Speak is a concert program and ongoing research concept that focuses on the interaction between music and the recorded human voice. Arranged for a portable instrumentation utilizing a small keyboard and amplified vibraphone bars, this flexible program has included works by Rzewski, Forsberg, Ghys, and Akiho.
As We Speak addresses a key question for the duo: how can we bring contemporary classical music anywhere?
LESS IS MORE
A dance collaboration with Molly Joyce & Barak Ballet
Originally commissioned by Justus and Elizabeth Schlichting for the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, Less is More is a piece for piano, percussion, and lights that has been expanded into a four movement work for a production of the Santa Monica based Barak Ballet. The work was premiered in June 2018 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica with additional performances at the Joyce Theatre in New York, and Jacob's Pillow in Massachusetts. The original 7-minute-long version of the work was filmed by Passepartout Duo alongside the Trisha Brown Dance Company's Jacob Storer.
Mixed Materials is an animated short film by Anna van Riel with music by Passepartout Duo. Van Riel's animations create a sense of childlike play that also highlights the melancholy of day-to-day life. From the perspective of artists, animals, and ancestors, the audience feels a sense of nostalgia for a place they might not yet be familiar with: the Flemish countryside.
The film was premiered in October 2017 at Film Fest Gent. Since then, it has been an Official Selection of: Anima Fest Zagreb, Athens Animfest, Flatpack Film Festival, Anima Brussels, Kort Film Festival, and the Brussels Short Film Festival.