Ciaccona φ - JS Bach

Ciaccona φ
from Partita #2 in D minor, BWV 1004 by Johann Sebastian

Karen Bentley Pollick – Solo Violin; Stuart Diamond – Visualization

For centuries, scholars have puzzled over what appear to be mathematical structures embedded in the Ciaccona (and for that matter in many other works of Bach). Do the proportions between the Minor and Major modes, the number and nature of variations, and how they interchange, reflect some deeper mathematical or even cosmic meaning? Some suggest that the almost perfect proportions of the 64 variations presented in three contrasting sections mirror The Golden Ratio – a set of satisfying proportions that underlie masterpieces of architecture, paintings, and even in nature itself. That in some way, Bach’s genius allowed him to intuit the very nature of reality, and that his creative mind was so attuned to his own essence that the music he wrote exemplified these structural truths.

Or such conjecture could simply be the arbitrary musings of academics – philosophical meditations that have little to do with the art of a workaday composer, who wrote the work in grief, and perhaps tribute, after returning from a trip to discover that his wife (and the mother of seven of his children) had died.

The visuals fuse geometrical and mathematical representations of The Golden Mean, Fibonacci Series, Pyramids of Egypt, as well as the Greek letter “φ“ that has come to represent this Divine Ratio, creating a tribute to Bach's own motto "Soli Deo Gloria".

Ciaccona φ from Partita #2 in D minor, BWV 1004 by Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Stuart Diamond
    Impressions at an Exhibition
  • Stuart Diamond
    Impressions at an Exhibition
  • Karen Bentley Pollick - Solo Violin
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Music Video
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 56 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 29, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Stuart Diamond

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Stuart Diamond was one of the seminal artists working with the synthesis of words, video, dance, and music (years before anyone had ever heard of MTV). He collaborated on many music video projects with such artists as Georgiana Holmes of The Pilobolus Dance Theater, Steven Malkus, Martha Curtis, Jason Sapan and Don Slepian. With Bruce Bassman he helped to create some of the first live outdoor laser light, firework and music shows for venues such as the Macy's Fourth of July Show (the largest fireworks display in the world).

The former New York City Ballet dancer Elizabeth Gottlieb created one of the first original video-ballet productions, entitled Journey. It was inspired by and danced to Lyric Images, an electronic symphonic work by Mr. Diamond. The video won top honors at The Festival of Americas.

Mr. Diamond has also created his own video projects, producing and directing his own original videography and animations. He has produced videos for many of his own music scores including Baroque Fantasy, Beauty Beast, Succubus, and Five Bagatelles.

As a commercial producer, Diamond has created 100s of videos, covering a range of areas - from nationally syndicated TV to music specials to commercials to video news. He is also executive media producer of The National Physician of the Year Awards,

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