Friday, September 26, 2008

Heike Sperling on visual music and limerence

My second life-blogging blogpost! Heike Sperling works for the Institute for Music and Media. (IMM) She teaches visual music.

She talks about 3 subjects:

1. Her institute IMM
2. Visual Music
3. Current research project: music and limerence (?)

When she studied there were no computers. MTV started when she was in her 20's. Then works as a creative director. In the 90's she worked with clips and invested in experimental music videos. Now Managing Music Director of IMM.

1. IMM- based in Germany
Evolved from training sound engineers. Since a decade the IMM has incorporated video, which is unique in Germany. Sounds and visuals have different languages, so there is mutual learning between the students and herself. In October two new bachelor will be launched: program music and media, the other sound and media. The idea is to bring the two cultures together to inspire each other. Students enhance their personalities on the basis of an instrument.

2. Visual Music
Term is 90 years old. Visual music refers to the use fo musical structures in visual imagery. Many aspect of music are visual, think of the covers etc. From experimental films. Audio and visuals are considered as equally important. This is not common. They take a close look at the coherence between technical innovation, new artistic languages and contents. this requires constant dialogue and reflection. She learns a new language from the musicians. Audio and visuals together should be more than the sum. She shows a visual music clip called light/speed by Maurice Braun one of their students. The clip won a the visual music award. (she didn't tell us this, but I saw it when googling!). In visual music the musician and visual person need to communicate because they can not understand each other. the goal is to develop assertiveness, self awareness and communication skills, so visual music is rather the stepping stone, not the goal.

3. The next project: Limerence
Limerence is an involuntary coginitive and emotional state in which a person feels an intense romantic desire for another person (Dorothy Tennov). (in English: to have a crush)...
She is the only female teacher, all 40 students are male. So she thought to study a cliche topic for a woman: romantic love. It is a sort of tabu in the scientific world to talk about it. Limerence involves acute longing for reciprocation, and a general intensity of feeling that leaves other concerns in the background, amongst others. Love has been called a madness, which implies loss of control and inspires fear. Limerence hence conflicts with the idea that human beings are free and rational creatures. 85% of populair music concerns love and limerence. Limerence as an ideal is financially profitable. She will cook up a question for a project, whose ingredients will be identity, society and interface. Interface looking at the connection between limerence and music. Why is it so connected? Falling in love has the same effect as cocaine. Have you seen Stanley Kubric's films? If not, you have to see them as soon as possible.

I ask her whether she encounter a lot of conflicts between the two world, audio and visuals. She does encounter conflict all the time, but sees conflict not as something negative, but the reason to dialogue. Musicians sometimes say she doesn't understand at all. Especially when both are equal, you need to work through your conflicts. That's exactly what makes her so interested in it.

No comments: