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Carl Orff, Carmina Burana

February 25, 2018

I collaborated with media designer Alex Oliszewski to produce a new visualization of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana at Ohio State University. Orff considered the work a secular cantata for choir, instruments, and "magical images," but very little is known about the original visual elements. Alex Oliszweski designed video content for each movement, drawing upon the work's textual themes. He then programmed an interface so that a musician could control parameters such as intensity, transitions, appearance, and accent of the video in real time. This allowed us to treat the visuals as another instrument in the ensemble, which could respond to the direction of the conductor and nuances of the musicians.


I scored the visual content for each movement, drawing upon my research on early twentieth century theories of audiovisual interaction. I also created a notational system for the video scoring that could be read by different media performers. Because the media performers needed to watch both the conductor and the videos, much of the scoring had to be memorized. I performed half the movements, while the other movements were divided among graduate student performers.

Read more information here:

Slideshow: Carmina Burana

Photo and design credit: Alex Oliszewski

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