|(Still from Widow_remix, a film by Jil Guyon)|
VERY exciting news. My most recent collaboration with New York video and performance artist Jil Guyon, WIDOW_remix, will be presented at Contemporary Art Ruhr, Media Art Fair, Essen, Germany, May 12-14. Wish I could be there!
Jil Guyon: Director, Performer
Chris Becker: Original Score
Helga Davis: Vocals
Valerie Barnes: Cinematography-->
Chris Becker: Widow is the first film I scored for artist Jil Guyon, whose cross-disciplinary talents resonate strongly with my own creative obsessions. Widow premiered February 4, 2014, at the Dance on Camera Festival presented by Dance Films Association and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and went on to screen at several festivals and museums across the U.S. and Canada.
For WIDOW_Remix (2016), Jil created a radical re-edit of Widow, and invited vocalist Helga Davis to improvise and record several a cappella performances while watching the resulting film. My job was to create a final score using 10 separate takes of Helga’s improvisations. Knowing how deeply Helga is able to go into the music as a singer and improviser, I tried to preserve the spontaneous energy of her performances and create a score that sounds like it is unfolding in real time with the film. WIDOW_Remix was edited and mixed using Ableton Live on KRK Rockit 6 speakers and mastered by Berlin-based sound artist Douglas Henderson.
Jil Guyon: WIDOW_Remix is an alternate version of my original Widow performance-video in which a woman wearing a 1940’s-style black dress and unfurling belt performs a sequence of movements while constrained within a stark, narrow white interior. Because Widow followed the choreographic trajectory of the live performance upon which it was based, I decided to create a more abstract edit using a “cut-up” collage style which allows the viewer to merge with the protagonist’s unrestrained, emotive experience. Because I knew this experience would be as dependent on the sound score as the edit, it was important for me to work with collaborators who were sensitive to this interrelationship. What Chris and Helga put together was altogether successful, hovering on the edge of pleasure and pain, and not only mirroring but intensifying the protagonist’s internal world.