Imaginary Soundtrack 2022 by After Art was performed on 21 August 2022 as part of the PoA Open Stage showcase. In this project he reinterprets snippets of films by his favourite cinematographers, by replacing the scores with his own compositions and live sound elements, thus creating an Imaginary Soundtrack to those films.
On the day of the performance, the PoA White Box was transformed into a mini movie theatre with a live sound station. The audience experienced cinematic visuals paired with a unique soundtrack composition.
The former version of Imaginary Soundtrack was presented online in 2020, so this was the first time Imaginary Soundtrack was performed in front of a live audience. After the performance the audience was invited to ask the artist questions and provide feedback.
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ABOUT THE ARTIST
After Art is a composer/sound artist originally from London. Now based in Bangkok, he currently takes special interest in generative music, and how schemas can be applied to connect the dots between places, spaces, and people. This concept also applies to his latest project for Open Stage, Imaginary Soundtrack 2022, where movie scenes from renowned cinematographers are paired with new live soundtracks following the artist’s reinterpretation.
Previously, After Art took part in both solo and collaborative projects all over the world, including the UK, Spain, Malaysia, Japan, Bangladesh, and Thailand. His works in Bangkok include a collaborative sound art performance at Yelo House Gallery, which received a special mention at Bangkok Galleries night 2019, and a solo sound installation at Manycuts Artspace.
As a fan of cinematography, After Art constantly plays with sounds and visuals. He described how he likes to first imagine a film scene when writing songs, then choose musical elements to match. He likes creating alternative soundtracks for his favourite movie scenes, eliciting distinct emotional responses from the original.
“Imagine a scene from Blade Runner. You would expect the sound to be synth-y and electronic, but what happens if it’s paired with an instrument like the Tabla and woman singing in Indian style? how would that contrast with that scene? You might watch a scene and think ‘oh this scene is sad, but with that music it’s kind of hopeful, how did that happen?” After Art said.
As a sound artist, he aims to experiment with mainly two things: generative sound design and music composing. In his view, generative music navigates the potential of sound emerging from an indeterminate system, while composing explores the emotional possibilities brought about by sound.
By merging the two concepts, Imaginary Soundtrack 2022 included both written music and generative elements triggered by live improvisations. “I want to use tracks I have written, but use them for a purpose they’re not written for. This is why it’s an experiment in juxtaposition. Does it fit? Does it fight? Does it do something surprising? That is what I want to see,” he said.
The first version of Imaginary Soundtrack was performed online in 2020. This time, After Art is hoping to introduce it to a physical setting and get direct feedback from people watching. He explained that having a live audience allows a dialogue between both parties and further explores various emotional effects perceived by individuals.
“The really fun thing about art is that it’s useless. It doesn't clothe you, it doesn’t feed you, it’s there to get ideas and emotions across, and it’s there to answer questions that are not practical, but vital. With this, I am trying to answer if it’s possible to reframe these visuals to create new narratives,” he said.