C-PLATFORM × Lisa Chang Lee
Serenade of the Woods
“Serenade of the Woods” is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between artist Lisa Chang Lee and musicians.
“Serenade of the Woods” explores the boundaries and possibilities between contemporary technology and naturalism, and uses the objectivity, openness and receptivity of computer science to dissolve the binary opposition between technology and nature, so to restore a kind of oriental uniformity (QI WU theory, Chuangtsu). Through the analysis of computer data, the rhythm of plants in the breeze is read, and “restonated” into musical scores. In the collaboration between the two artists, responsible for the programming part and according to the core concept of the work, James Wilkie applies French composer Olivier Messiaen’s system called Modes of limited transposition, which was inspired by the oriental music and natural birds song. The video footages taken by Lee are digitalised by Wilkie then analysed by computer algorithms. Algorithms process the movement of the plants swaying in the breeze – the stronger and more frequent the movement, the more the algorithm unlocks notes of a secret melody for the plant to play. Each plant is given a musical instrument that corresponds to the synesthetic form of sound. Just like the relationship between visual forms and sounds explained by Wassily Kandinsky in “Point and Line to Plane” as scientific experiments, “Serenade of the Woods” reverses this audiovisual synesthesia to create a symphony of various instruments. The musical scripts written by nature are then played by human performers as live performance as well as audiovisual installation.
Project Director: Lisa Chang Lee
Concept, filming & video editing: Lisa Chang Lee
Video and Audio Coding: James Wilkie
Flutist: Rossana Ter-Berg
Cellist: Francesca Ter-Berg
Multi-Percussionist: Beibei Wang (live performance)
Graphic design: Yin Chunyang
Project Assistants: Liu Qingqing, Jules Gulon