Death Fugue: An Uncovering

As a MFA candidate at UT Dallas, I was a member of LabSynthE during the Spring 2016 semester. During that semester, the lab worked on an interactive multi-media art installation based on Paul Celan’s poem Todesfuge. Celan was a survivor of The Holocaust. This webpage houses: 1) a video of the project presentation at UT Dallas on Holocaust Remembrance Day (video footage & editing by Associate Professor xtine burrough); 2) detail of my individual contributions to the project; 3) a recorded reading of Todesfuge by Paul Celan.

“In the Glittering Starlight” (instrumental only)

“In the Glittering Starlight” is my original digital-music composition, which was an element of the initial iteration of the project shown in the video above. The composition is a MIDI orchestration, which I composed in MOTU’s Digital Performer, using an orchestral sample library of EastWest virtual instruments. After the piece was written in Digital Performer, I transferred the project audio files to Pro Tools, for mixing.

The title of the composition comes from a line of an english translation of the poem by Zsuzsanna Ozsváth and Frederick Turner:

“he writes and he walks to the house in the glittering starlight he whistles his hounds to him / whistles his jews to him has us shovel a grave in the earth there / he tells us to strike up the dance”

“In the Glittering Starlight” (revised instrumental with voice)

The ‘revised instrumental with voice’ audio file demonstrates how the viola line operates as a rhythmic translation of Paul Celan’s recorded oration of Todesfuge.

I created this informal work/research document for the lab, as a means of connecting the lab members to Paul Celan and his poem.

Other Death Fugue collaborators: Frank Dufour, xtine burrough, Caleb Shafer, Francis Eyth, Yvan Tina, Clayton Harper, Ariel Comstock.