NCSA aids Gravity Radio production

01.29.10 -

By John McDermott

NCSA multimedia technology specialist Jeff Carpenter produced a video collage that will be part of the performance of Gravity Radio at Krannert Center for Performing Arts on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 29 and 30). This song cycle for string quartet, singers, guitarist, bass, drums, and keyboard (and featuring reports from the Associated Press newswire) is the latest collaboration between NCSA and composer, director, performer, and recording artist Mikel Rouse; Carpenter also contributed to the 2005 production of Rouse's End of Cinematics.

Carpenter describes his work on Gravity Radio as a almost a "found footage project." He edited together five hours of footage shot by Rouse in which many of the images are upside down or at skewed angles. The result is non-linear and non-narrative, featuring juxtaposed shots of a Brazilian family dancing, throngs of people walking along New Orleans' Bourbon Street, aerial views of the American Midwest, and revelers in Italy.

Carpenter had considerable freedom in determining the film's form and thematic undertones. Rouse's only instructions were to have the images coincide with the song cycle's A-B-C-B-A structure and to keep the images "earth bound."

"The film doesn't tell a story, it just takes you places," Carpenter said. "It's kind of like trying to pick up a television station from a far off location."

For more information on Gravity Radio, see http://mikelrouse.com/gravity.html. Visit the Krannert Center website for performance details and to purchase tickets.