DVD Video Animation

Limited Edition Prints


Nocturn is the 1st piece in an ongoing cycle that tries to capture the spirit of light at a particular time of day or season. In this case we are dealing with a summer night. Nocturn features images from islands and temples in Thailand and the island of Moorea in the South Pacific. Most of the images were daylight shots treated to look like night.

Nocturn is also the 1st piece that occasionally uses the theme of a manuscript, with unknown writing and parchment pages. The intention behind using book pages is to play with the idea of showing memories of a place, to recount the experience as memory. The text is not recognizable because I don't want to be specific and tell a narrative, I would love the viewer to be free to make their own. The use of the text in this piece is gestural writing which is drawn on the computer in realtime. Another reason for using a manuscript feel is that I just really like the way old books look. Nocturn moves in and out of the manuscript experience and a more 1st person experience.

Like much of the work on Illuminated Manuscripts, Nocturn tries to recreate a magic felt at times in the past. Summer nights are truly magnificent, yet hard to capture visually in any true sense. Therefore this animation tries to manifest the feel of a summer night through manipulated and composited images shot in daylight. The scene of the large trees with the temple in the background and the moonlight is a good example of this technique. The temple is from Sukothai Thailand, the large tree trunks are from the South Pacific and the leaves in the background are from Wisconsin. Most of the light is generated by software using the movement of leaves blowing in the wind as a giude.

This animation was done very quickly compared to Passages. It was completed in about a month. The computer rendering time was about 2 1/2 days and done on an Apple G3. The stars were created by scattering a frame of white into different sizes. The water and lightning bug effects were particle systems.

Fritz's Music Notes: The choice of music for this segment was a true act of synchronicity. I was already creating this particular piece when I received the Nocturn animation from John in the mail. As I watched the imagery I hit play on my sequencer and was amazed at how well this seemingly random piece of music was working. I called John and played it over the phone and he instantly thought that it was a perfect match to the mood and feel of his animation. Excited by the sudden synergy I preceded to finish it off by accenting the visuals with some additional nuances and mastered it off that night sending it to John the following morning. Less than 24 hours turnaround time!

What makes this track come to life is the exquisite flute performance by Suzanne Teng of Mystic Journey. It soars with a deep mystical passion! The percussion is a ceramic arabic dumbek played by myself over MIDI tracks consisting of primarily a hammered dulcimer sample from a Roland JV 1080 World Expansion board. A simple but evocative combination of elements.