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Solfège Souche

A Solfège Souche is by definition the root of a forgotten connection with nature.

In times of rapidly increased use of technology, humans face increased stimulation and variables on age old questions in ethics and morality.

In an effort to portray a dynamic relationship with nature, instead of dominance over nature, the Butoh movements recreate ways lifeforms cut down in the forest continually find ways to reach towards light. 

This space framed in the video presents a body moving amongst an autumnal forest, merging and emerging from light and shadows. The body draws lines through movement; binaural beats compose the soundtrack. The pitches register at markers in time, reminiscent of ear trauma or tinnitus.

The Solfège Souche video is situated at the intersection of dance, performance, video art, projection, research and study. The artistic research and pedagogical development asks the questions: Are our cultural and bodily movements dangerous if we do not understand what we stand to lose? In what ways do sounds move and change forms from within the body and around? 

Ut queant laxīs resonāre fībrīs; Mīra gestōrum famulī tuōrum; Solve pollūtī labiī reātum, Sancte Iōhannēs.

The term, Solfège, refers to the music education method developed to teach sight-singing and pitch accuracy. Originating in 11th century, music theorist Guido of Arezzo assigned six syllables: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, now recognized as the major scale. Much later, the "ut" was changed to the open syllable "do". "Sol" changed to "so". "Si" later became "ti", was added for the seventh scale-note, giving rise to the modern solfège. Souche has several meanings; as a stump (of a tree), the Latin word meaning root, simultaneously referring to genealogy. Souche was also a name of an unknown virus claiming the lives of at least twenty people  (une souche virale inédite a fait au minimum vingt morts).

The changes and understandings in musical notation, are related to posture and movement. These bodily performances considered intuitive or based on vision, relating Gregorian and Orthodox histories with traditions found in native and pagan rites of passage. Therefore the things themselves, present and projected become the shared ground. The next record in this artistic research is the Afjordance video projection and data based, algorithmic generated sounds based on the term Affordance. 

Affordance is what the environment offers the individual, and refers to all action possibilities depending on users’ physical capabilities. For example, a chair not only “affords” being “sat on,” but also “thrown,” “stood on,” and so on. James J. Gibson, coined the term "affordance."

  • Rachel Wolfe
    Director, producer, choreographer, performance, cinematography, editing
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Solfège Souche
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    art, contemporary, dance, video
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 6, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • WAV Film Festival
    February 7, 2019
    European Premier
    Official Selection
  • Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA)
    Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
    July 16, 2019
    South Korean Premier
    Official Selection
  • Dumbo Film Festival
    United States
    May 14, 2020
Director Biography - Rachel Wolfe

Norwegian American artist Rachel Wolfe works internationally on public and private projects. As a synesthete, a recurring theme in a lot of her work reflects on experiences in nature. Her interests in anthropogeny, obscured histories, and the ways humans relate with nature are reflected in sensual and meditative images and immersive, mixed-media installations. Rachel’s award winning work is held in private and public collections, including 1st place by the jury for her monolithic image and text, Omniscient, in the Imaging New Eurasia exhibition in Gwangju, South Korea.

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