AURORA GASULL + JOMA
Barcelona, 1962. Cellist and member of various chamber ensembles until 1990, at which point she entered the world of visual art with photography, drawing and painting, finally specialising in digital animation and synthesised imaging. After a few years of working in the field, she began to explore the abstract image, starting with music as the theme and following with a collection of silent pieces of pure animation, and several pieces projected onto ceramics or paper.
In 2018 she took part in the experimental cinema programme created for the Juan March Foundation (L’abstract en moviment, 1921-2012) shown alongside the Hans Hinterreiter exhibition at La Seu cathedral in Palma and the Cuenca Museum of Abstract Art. In 2019 her visuals were projected for MidSummer Night Dance, scored by David del Puerto, at the São João National Theatre in Porto, she was selected for the Pantalla Interior project at the CCCB, and her piece Cartes des del bosc was presented at FLUX Festival, Santa Mònica Arts Centre.
JOMA Josep Maria Rius Ortigosa
Barcelona, 1954. Visual artist, mainly draughtsman with a lengthy career in cartoons and editorial drawings in the press. He has published an in-depth visual recreation of the world of Homer: L’Odissea (2007-2009) and La Ilíada (2009-2013).
At present he is working on a project, Uns i Altres, in cooperation with improvisationist musicians; a project combining live music and drawing with video support that takes a poetic look at the exodus of displaced people around the world.
In the world of animation and transformational drawing, he developed a cycle in 2020 based on ten poems by Josep Carner. Mar, as the work is titled, looks at life as a journey and death as the port of arrival, and night and darkness. It is complemented by musical compositions extracted from Cantiga, a project by Galician composer Jesús González.
Contra els predicadors, based on texts by Elias Canetti, is a project of transformational drawing begun in 2020 together with the improvisationalist musicians he knows; a work in progress that acquires meaning as it is drawn, with Canetti’s broad thinking as a constant reference.
He has been a habitual collaborator on La Vanguardia newspaper, as well as on magazines L’Avenç, Cavall Fort, Compartir and Serra d’Or.
Aurora Gasull has been showing us how to listen to music with our eyes for some time. JOMA has been looking for ways to give his drawings sound. In both their work, the intimate connection between music and image is a constant. Their mutual interest in each other was therefore inevitable. It was also inevitable that they should have friends in common. And it was inevitable that they grew up on the same street, in houses facing each other. However, their slight difference in age meant that their inevitable meeting took a while.
In this joint session, they each present five animation pieces that combine image, music and poetry. Aurora Gasull brings a collection of work realised over the past ten years, threaded with the music of various composers, and the music of birds.
JOMA presents a selection of pieces from his latest work, Mar, esquitxos de la poesia de Josep Carner, which visually recreates poems from the writer’s 1957 anthology, Poesia, selected from those gathered under the title “Mar” (Sea), and which JOMA describes with the following words:
The project emerged because I wanted to take part in the celebration marking 50 years since the death of Carner, which was to have been held in 2020. The particular circumstances of that year eclipsed the anniversary, but the power of the poems Carner wrote using the sea as a metaphor took on an increased potency and a more ambitious meaning in my mind. In this joint session with Aurora Gasull, I’m pleased to present for the first time a selection of this journey through Carner’s works, reread against the background of heightened awareness of death during the 2020 lockdown.
Sonades de la calor del foc
Music: 4th movement of Sonades de la calor del foc by Josep Maria Mestres Quadreny.
I wanted to work using randomness in musical composition to open myself up to other forms of animation, and I chose this movement where the composer uses randomness to establish frequencies. In the first part, I programmed a device that could generate different proportions indefinitely without repeating itself. After an interlude this is followed by an episode of dynamic, extreme contrasts where the animation technique is based on physical behaviours, and cubes move like sparks in an enclosed fire with turbulence. In the lengthy final section there is a move towards silence and a return to the initial sound mass, where silences appear randomly.
Music: Un sourire by Olivier Messiaen.
Ever since I was young I have been greatly attracted to the music and figure of Olivier Messiaen, the composer and ornithologist who could hear colours and see music. The visuals begin with an attention to the melody, the initial tritones giving way to the tracing of a triangle that progresses towards the rhythmic landscape, which is the passing from the absence of time or time eternal to reality, to the geometry of colour… From this point, I wanted to work the depth of the harmonies with masses of colour, following the intimate narrative of the melody, with its doubts and contradictions, except in the passage where the camera becomes the narrator.
Music: Prelude 1 (BWV 846) by J. S. Bach.
I tried working this Prelude in a variety of ways, attempting to balance the horizontal narrative with the vertical colours of each chord. Eventually I ended up with a chromatic work, beat by beat. The initial white served to kick off and to finish, the blue-greens for the C major chords and the red-yellows for the G major chords, intuitively seeking the paths going from one group to the other. I don’t believe there’s a fixed correspondence between notes and colours, I feel it is more genuine to listen to my own instinct and allow my imagination to blossom, despite the vertigo induced by having to choose. The camera has no perspectives, the lower pitched notes underneath and the higher ones above. I hesitated for a long time on the direction that the energy of the sound was to take and finally the present ended up to the right and the wake of memory to the left.
Cartes des del bosc
Audio: recordings of birds by Eloïsa Matheu.
For a while now I’ve been listening to the sounds of nature: birdsong, recordings of Amazonian rainforests and the great forests of the world by day and by night, volcanoes, the wind in the forests, the waves of the sea… I focused on the marvellous recordings made by Eloïsa Matheu in the woods of Catalonia, and this double correspondence, visual and postal, which I presented at Flux Festival, appeared as a result of the beauty of the birdsong, my longing for the woods and my sadness about the degradation of nature.
I worked the link between the aural energy of each bird’s song and its visual manifestation in such a way that it is the birdsong itself that generates and unleashes the visual, and creativity manifests in each and every one of the decisions relating to colour, density and duration of what is visible. The drawings are by hand.
Music: Espiral by Cristina Vilallonga.
Espiral is a violin solo in three movements composed by Cristina Vilallonga and performed by Sabrina Condello. The composition predates 2019, and the visuals were created exclusively during the first three months of lockdown. After listening to the music and the emotions it aroused in me, I began to memorise in order to gather within me and make my own the narrative and structure. I wanted to make a genuinely pictorial piece. So I began at the beginning, searching and searching for simple manifestations of what I had understood from the music. The first movement is particularly simple, but it works in order to continue to grow…
Mar, esquitxos de la poesia de Josep Carner
Visual recreation of the eponymous poems by Josep Carner, from the 1957 edition of his book Poesia.
Unedited music from Jesús González’s Cantiga project, with the composer’s permission.
Els ports i la mar
Diumenge del patró
Cançó de rem per a la nit més fosca
La peixera i el dubte
Retorn d’un vell
FLUX CLUB celebrates its 12th season at the Antic Teatre and the 21st anniversary of its creation in 2000.
This is a fortnightly video programme that reflects the vitality of video creation in Barcelona. It hosts all kinds of sessions with screenings, video performances, and debates offering direct contact between audiences and video creators. The sessions focus on a range of subjects, from monographics of well-known directors to specific themes such as video dance and video poetry, or collective sessions dedicated to emerging authors.
The programme is open to everything currently going on in the field of video in Barcelona, complementing the FLUX Video Auteur Festival with its content and extending its sphere of influence beyond the dates of the festival, which takes place in December.
HABITUAL VIDEO TEAM is a non-profit association that has as its main objective the promotion of activities related to the visual arts, specifically, video art: www.habitualvideoteam.org.
A fundamental area of their work is the organisation of festivals, cycles and video shows, such as the FLUX Video Auteur Festival: www.fluxfestival.org, and the INFLUX Audiovisual Performing Arts Festival: www.influxfestival.org.
Another area of Habitual Video Team’s activity is video documentation of cultural events mainly related to experimental music and poetry performances. In 2012 they launched the SUMMA project in order to convert this audiovisual heritage (more than 1000 recordings) into a non-profit online video archive: www.summa-hvt.org.