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The Symphony of Scenes

(MIFF 2005)

In film, how does the image affect the sound, and the sound affect the image' How have they manipulated each other through the history of film and film music' The Symphony of Scenes is a musical cinematic work composed for film/video collage and a musical ensemble of electronics, percussion and samplers. It comprises a collection of short scenes, each exploring the relationship of film and film music, drawing together images and sound found in Australian archives primarily from ACMI and the national collection in Canberra. Some sections are tributes to directors such as John Cassevetes, King Hu, Sam Fuller, Arthur Lipsett and to composers such as Alex North, Bernard Hermman and Toru Takamitsu. Others manipulate the connection and disconnection of sound and image through recognisable icons, image meanings and musical references, which form a type of memory theatre. David Shea conceived the work and composed the music, while Kristi Monfries and Micheal Fairlie created the video pieces. The screenings of The Symphony of Scenes will be accompanied by a new score performed live by David Shea and Joe Talia. * 9pm Friday 5 August at ACMI * 1pm Saturday 6 August at ACMI Co-presented by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
David Shea David Shea is a composer who has often been associated with the New York Downtown experimental music scene. Working with combinations of samplers and live musicians on the possibilities of electronic and acoustic traditions, Shea focuses on the interconnections between styles, histories and mediums with single pieces. His work draws on experimental and film music, as well as traditional music from both Eastern and Western cultures, and pieces based on novels, mythology and other visual sources. It contains multiple layerings of compositional methods, electronic and acoustic orchestrations. Artists and composers such as Duchamp, Cage, Fluxus and Xenakis exerted an early influence on Shea, who studied at the Oberlin Conservatory in the early 1980s. Explorations in computer music and solo vocal improvisations attracted him to New York in 1985, where he met and worked with many of the people involved in the free improvisation scene of the early 80s. He began working regularly in various projects of John Zorn with whom he toured and writing for dance, video and film. Shea worked with a much-lauded musical community, involving Anthony Coleman, Mark Ribot, Zeena Parkins, Jim Pugliese, David Weinstein and Tom Cora among others. During the 90s he released a slew of very distinctive CDs in rapid succession. This, combined with a demanding touring schedule, ushered in another shift in musical direction. Shea is now based in Melbourne, and has presented a number celebrated works that meld film and live music. Check out David Sheas website at

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