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
  • New York Tri-State Film Festival
    New York
    United States
  • Beyond The Curve Film Festival
    Finalist in Best Experimental Film Category
  • LoosenArt
Director Biography - Rachel Wolfe

Rachel Wolfe (b. 1984) creates sublime timescapes for exhibitions, videos, public installations, performances, and apparel. She works internationally, primarily between the USA and Nordics, with photography, video, design, writing on culture and art, education, and textiles.

Seeing the body as the generative force in cognition, her multidisciplinary practice engages in ways places make people through ancient allegorical and sensory connections. Movement and embodied knowledge such as proprioception continue as reoccurring motives. She completed artist residencies in Oslo (Norway), Angelot-Trélex (Switzerland), Kjerringøy Land Art (Norway). Her award-winning work engages in human relationships with nature and technology, the aesthetic ethics of beauty, and is held in private and public collections, including monolithic image and text, Omniscient, awarded 1st by the jury in the Imaging New Eurasia exhibition, Gwangju (South Korea). Albumen Gallery (London) and The Print Atelier (Montréal) represent several of her photographic series.

Born and raised in the Midwestern United States, Rachel's artistic training began in dance at 5, piano at 10, and voice at 12. She began studying philosophy, psychology, yoga and meditation, around 14 years of age. After completing high school early with honours and an independent study in fashion design, she studied interior architecture and completed a Bachelor in advertising. After working as a designer and copywriter, she worked at galleries while studying and working as a photographer for 22nd Century Media in the North Shore of Chicago. She became a YA certified yoga and meditation instructor in Crystal Lake, Illinois, studied social psychology in Matsuyama, Japan, and moved to Los Angeles, California, for graduate studies at Otis College of Art and Design. After completing a Master Fine Art, Rachel began working between the Nordics and the USA. She continued art and photography with public events and exhibitions, began making videos, developed artistic research projects, learning and healing methods, working with natural fibers and stones.

Add Director Biography