audio/video ~ 4:25
This piece was the first of a series started and curated by Russell Sheaffer & myself.

Here's the write-up about the series from Russell's website:
A series of collaborative works pairing artists working in visual and auditory mediums, the Études meditate on individual musical concepts through experiments with sound and film.
       Les Études are, as the title suggests, a study on concept, both for the visual artist and the composer. Each Étude begins from a single musical term, ranging from electronic music techniques to instrumental playing techniques to notational ideas. Paired composers and visual artists choose one term (from a predetermined list) to collaboratively explore – using various methods of their choosing to interpret, study, and explore potential meanings of the term. Pieces may be performed live (in whole or in part) or may be fully electronic. The methods, interpretation, length, subject matter, and all other variables are the sole decision of the collaborating visual and auditory artists.
A haunting found-footage study in the plurality of visual and auditory meanings of the musical concept “release.”
if you're interested in participating in the Études series, either visually or sonically, get in touch via email and we can discuss details

Indie Memphis Film Festival, 2016, Memphis, TN 
Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2017, Chicago, IL 
Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2017, Ann Arbor, MI - Winner, RingSide Creative Archival Film Award 
Nashville Film Festival, 2017, Nashville, TN 
Oxford Film Festival, 2017, Oxford, MS 
You, the People, Gallery Show, 2017, New York, NY
Here's an interview I did with the Oxford Film Festival in Mississippi in 2017 about this Étude:

#1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.
Symbiotic semiotic studies seem to slur sound and science secret sources show their sameness Saussure sends structures, sights, and strings.
Just kidding! But you should come see Étude 1a: Release (I) because it’s a strange, haunting short that plays with the meaning and creation of sounds and images.
#2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?
The best part for me was experimenting with the collaborative process. Russell Sheaffer (the co-director) and I have always tried to play around with different methodologies regarding how work gets conceptualized and the process used to create work. We had been discussing ways to create film starting with the musical conception and working out from there. I made a list of musical terms, ranging from electronic music techniques to instrumental playing techniques to notational ideas and we chose one to base both the music and film to, using various methods and interpretations of the term. It’s always really exciting to shake up the creative process and to find a new way of working, which (in part) ends in creating new types of work. Instead of leaning the music on a pre-existing film, it was really nice to get to just abstractly focus in depth on the composition, while knowing in the back of my mind that it was going to be set to film eventua lly. Also, the conceptual method of picking a term and basing everything on different ways of interpreting it has been incredibly motivating and thought-provoking.
#3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?
I’m a composer and performer originally from Indiana. I have been trained classically, studying both composition and viola while at Indiana University. I met Russell there, I collaborated on my first film ever with him, and we basically haven’t stopped making films together ever since. Russell essentially introduced me to film, which is now a medium I love collaborating in. These days I am working on my Master’s in composition at Boston University, and I am focusing much of my time on electroacoustic music.
#4 What do you want the Oxford Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title or description?
Musically, listen very carefully to see if you can pick out the different types of acoustic sources. One of the main ideas for me was trying to blend several disparate acoustic sound sources, such as human voices, string instruments, and a flute, creating brand new timbres that incorporate elements of each, a technique I often utilize in my music. I then mix these sounds even further with various methods of electronic synthesis or resynthesis of these acoustic sounds. In my mind, I am creating acoustic metaphors that can be heard or interpreted in various different ways depending on the context and the listener. Additionally, both in relation to the music and to the film itself, think hard about the term, “release” that was chosen to begin the conceptualization. Much of the process of creating this piece, for both Russell and myself, was ruminating on various ways of interpreting this term, from the literal to the terminological to th e metaphysical.
#5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?
This film is one of four “movements” relating to the term “release”, so firstly, Russell and I will be continuing to work on digging deeper into ways of manifesting the term. I’m very excited because we actually have a whole list of about 200 different musical terms, so we plan on continuing to pop out études from time to time. There’s a long history of études in the classical music pedagogical tradition. Probably most famously and publicly known familiar are Chopin’s piano collection of 27. As we have done, the more pedagogical études often focus on a specific playing technique, in order to learn or sharpen that skill, such as hand crossings on the piano or large shifts on the violin. In many ways, this actually does serve as an étude in the literal sense for me as composer because I get to really focus my attention on a much more singular musical technique than I do normally in my music. Russell and I have always been interested in modes of collaboration, so, one of the most exciting prospects for this project is that we are working on reaching out to various artists who we are interested in pairing together to commission some of these études into being.
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