09 June 2010

Experiment for Animated Graphic Score (2010)

©吉田悠
I always keep my eyes open for new animation talent, and one of my favourite discoveries this year is the 3-minute short Experiment for Animation Graphic Score with music and animation by Haruka Yoshida (吉田悠). This film was featured on the NHK’s Digista programme in March, and is also a featured work in the Japan Animation Panorama segment at the Image Forum Festival 2010 which is currently touring around Japan.
©吉田悠
I have thus far been unable to find any biographical information about Haruka Yoshida, which leads me to suspect that she is a student. If that is the case, then she has a very promising artistic career in front of her because she has already learned how to marry animation with music in an inventive way. I recall once hearing a CBC interview in which Glenn Gould (the pianist) interviewed Norman McLaren (the animator). Gould spoke of what he saw in his head as performed, and McLaren spoke of how he draws inspiration from music for his animation. As both composer and animator of Experiment for Animated Graphic Score, Yoshida is able to open a little window into the imaginative world of the musician / composer by animating it.
©吉田悠
The film begins rather simply, both musically and visually, with the camera scrolling to the right along a sepia coloured musical score as we listen to the scored music being played on a keyboard. Soon some cacophonic noise can be heard in the background and the musical bars begin to quiver. As the noise, which sounds like the static of a radio being tuned gets louder, so does the disturbance of the lines and notes of the musical score. More city noises (a siren, an announcement in a station, a recorded voice speaking in English) take over and Yoshida illustrates this with abstract images in the same inky pen as the musical score. 
©吉田悠
All the while, the camera continues at the same pace to pan towards the right as if the viewer were a musician reading the score. A synthesizer joins the cacophony, and as the music takes a funkier change of pace, the camera follows the ink as it moves downwards into new uncharted territory creating more and more elaborate designs as it goes. The motif of the bars of music are interwoven with the more abstract imagery throughout giving the image flow and continuity. The animation climaxes into an ecstasy of visual imagery, then gently returns to the original score in a visual and aural coda, ending with a copyright notice similar to that at the end of a musical score.
©吉田悠
A truly enjoyable little film, and although I have been unable to find out anything more about the animator herself, I did discover that the pages used in the making of the film were displayed at an art gallery late last year. See the Design Festa Gallery blog here.

© Catherine Munroe Hotes 2010

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