Freida Abtan - Flight of Birds (remix)

Duration: 33'

Flight of Birds is a 33-minute HD audiovisual composition that draws on notions of anima and the realm of the spirit. The imagery is inspired by traditional Yoruban mythology in which a woman’s spirit may leave her body to travel outside in the form of a bird. Here, a woman longs for flight, staring into a birdcage for the mysteries within. We see her dressed as a bird, dancing, unfolding, but never quite leaving the ground. Darker, winged creatures haunt the air around her. Eventually, she is transformed. She visits the sky, not as a bird, but as a constellation.

Like the hands of the dancer, Flight of Birds explores strategies to abstract movement and form through surface and temporal manipulation, as well as the defining sensory relationship that exists between sound and image in time-based composition. The piece takes a much looser stance on audiovisual association, attempting to match aural and visual material through pace and suggestion rather than clearly defined gesture. The remix uses real-time performative transformations through custom software created in MaxMSP/Jitter. It playfully experiments with both linked and separate audio and visual process to reconfigure the work’s audiovisual discourse.

Flight of Birds was created with footage of Audrey Ellis Fox and Bonnie Johnson.