May 20, 2024

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CD review: Elliott Sharp – Syzygy 2019: Video, CD cover

“Syzygy as musical score and as retinal work implies alignment but alignment does not imply rigidity of relationship just as conjunction does not equal synchronization nor even simultaneity. The images in Syzygy were all generated from one page of musical notation and are inextricably linked…

Using a suite of processing strategies, the resultant images remain in a dynamic but oblique relationship with each other, always connected as they metamorphosize. They may be opposites, resonant bodies, or extrapolations. Syzygy defines the temporal alignment of celestial bodies within a gravitational system at one cosmic moment, but the correlation between these elements likewise holds as they follow their individual trajectories. Different scales yield differing degrees of correspondence. The straight line from a distance reveals the jagged and reticulated in magnification. Syzygy has roots in the Greek word zygon, meaning “yoke” and the derivative syzygos means “yoked together”. One finds this same root in zygote, the union of two gametes. The union forms the junction, the union in time, the conjunction. The time may be aligned or displaced but the linkage remains to evolve Regarding generation, Syzygy continues with techniques developed during the creation of the graphic score Foliage, a work that was the result of translating the use of audio processing using modulation, feedback, filtering, and layering to analogous visual approaches using the graphic editing software Photoshop and Gimp operating directly on the musical notation. The output was both a direct manifestation of internal sound projection into the visual realm and visual work that reflected the rhythmic and melodic contours and varying densities of the music in a synesthetic feedback loop. To date, Syzygy exists in two radically different formats, created simultaneously. For a show at arToxin Gallery in Munich, the twelve pages of were printed on clear acetate and four groups of three were sandwiched together using magnetic spacers allowing illumination in the space to emphasize the temporal transformation within the unity. For the show at Erratum, the three pages in each group were displayed in linear form, end-to-end, displaced in time and space.” Elliott Sharp (NYC 2018)

Steve Piccolo – voice, el.bass, object(s)
Giancarlo Schiaffini – trombone
Walter Prati – el.cello
Francesca Gemmo – piano
Gak Sato – theremin
Sergio Armaroli – vibraphone

Label: Dodicilune


  1. Syzygy (Studio Version 1)
  2. Syzygy (Studio Version 2)
  3. Syzygy (Studio Version 3)
  4. Syzygy (Studio Version 4)


  1. Syzygy (Live Version 1)
  2. Syzygy (Live Version 2)
  3. Syzygy (Live Version 3)
  4. Syzygy (Live Version 4)

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