Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Light played by key

Scan of a the front cover, digitally unmodified

Was digging around in a box today and came across this little book of postcards purchased at the New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1963 when it was running Thomas Wilfred's Lumia Suite, Op.168. First, I love the idea of a little book of postcards. I have only ever seen postcards sold separately.

Secondly, the work is exciting and fantastic. Wilfred was a pioneer in 'art from light' - Lumia. To do this he used a machine that he called the Clavilux, which translates as 'light played by key'. His music would literally take shape in light form. He first showed off these 'light sculptures' (see my other blog for something similar) in 1922 in New York. After this he gave performances all over the world.

This, off the back of the book of postcards, explains Lumia Suite, Op. 158 in some more detail:

I have scanned in a few stills below, tried to remove the dust and scratches digitally and restored a bit of the colour vibrancy lost in the scan.

There is a little bit more of his work here. I think he would have liked the current light exhibition in London at the moment, Switched On London. Also, I think he would have liked BMW's 'See How it Feels' ad. (Or rather the creatives over at WCRS liked his work!). Here it is with UNKLE's sensational remix of Beethoven's 9th Symphony:

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