From a tiny trickle to a turbulent vortex, Torrent is an audio-visual maelstrom of light and sound.
Torrent is a continuation of a series of multi-screen animations dealing with water flow Martine has been producing since 2010. Using only simple white and black graphics Torrent portrays the process of water trickling, pouring and cascading down the walls, swirling onto the floor as a stylised animated whirlpool, and then finally draining away to nothing. In this way the image of the waterfall whirlpool may be both allegorical and spectacle and be considered simultaneously benign and majestic bringing to mind a variety of associations, ranging from the desktop screensaver, a YouTube relaxation sleep video, the grandiose power of an actual waterfall, to the malevolent spectacle of a natural disaster and the incongruity of seeing water flowing from places where it normally shouldn’t. In addition, the idea of a torrent while traditionally referring to the flow of water has now the more everyday association of the flow of data, the cascade of downloading that is happening anywhere at anytime. In this work the reductive animated flowing substitute allows the spectator walk within it, to become immersed in the kinetic excess, despite being a minimal imitation of the real thing.
Philip Brophy’s score is based around a series of directed performances and improvisational passages by harpist Mary Doumany. It was important for the harp to be the central identity, playing upon the historical iconography of the harp and its associations with swirling water while also allowing it to break out this archetype to also produce rich textural sounds. There are no other instruments in the composition, only harp, both natural and processed oscillating between representation and abstraction, combining melodic muzak-like gestures with more unfamiliar abstract harp textures.
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Martine Corompt has been working with moving image based installation for over 15 years with a specific interest in researching aspects of animation, such as reductive representation, caricature and the animate space. Much of her work is collaborative and interdisciplinary, seeking to incorporate sound, space and image together, as well as highlighting the more direct relationship between spectator and artwork. Martine’s has been involved in museum and gallery exhibitions internationally in Los Angeles, Berlin and Japan, as well as undertaking more localized public art projects in and around Melbourne. Martine continues to lecture at RMIT School of Art in Australia and is currently undertaking her PhD at VCA Melbourne University titled: Forced perspectives; cartoon and the cult of reduction.
Philip Brophy has scored and sound-designed numerous features, shorts and installations. In this field he specialises in Dolby surround soundscapes. His recent sound-based commissions include the 16-channel Atmosis for the RMIT Gallery Sound Art Collection, and the multi-drum-kit installation Womb To Tomb for Liquid Architecture, (both 2013). His radio show on film scores Psychosonic Cinema played on Resonance FM, London, throughout 2014. He also writes on film sound and music for Film Comment, New York; Wire, London; and Real Time, Sydney. Torrent is his second score for Martine Corompt, following her Laneway Commission No Answer in 2006.
Martine Corompt and Philip Brophy, Torrent 2015 (video still), multi–channel digital animation, 5.1 surround sound.