The Music of Jeffrey Hass
Magnetic Resonance Music (2009)
Indiana University Dance Theatre
Elizabeth Shea, choreography
Jeffrey Hass, music and video
Duration: 6 minutes
Magnetic Resonance Music is a 6-minute video with computer music featuring dance. The video has been extracted from a three-movement work for dance, computer music and video projection entitled The Nature of Human. This work explores three facets of human existence: mind, body, and spirit.
Magnetic Resonance Music is the 'body' of the work and is projected behind the dancers on a full-stage screen. The material for the video has been abstracted from the choreography and mirrors or comments on both the music and the dance. While contemplating what it was I wished to do for an abstract video featuring dancers, I underwent my first MRI. Stuffed into this small tube for an hour and a half, admonished not to move in any way, but having a horrible desire to itch, I tried to turn my focus toward the bizarre, strident, extremely loud noises and complex rhythms the machine was making and how they might be incorporated into a musical composition. With the addition of a few extra 'beat' elements, Magnetic Resonance Music was born during my brain scan.
My collaborators in this project were Elizabeth Limon Shea, choreographer and Rob Shakespeare, lighting designer and scenographer. The dancers featured in the video are members of the Indiana University Contemporary Dance Theatre.