Violinist and composer Cornelius Dufallo seems to be the right person at the right time. An intensely introspective thinker who is as committed to visual communication as he is to the purely musical, he has come along just as the technology is ready for him and just as a compatible and creative collaborator, film artist Carmen Kordas, is on the scene.
The five pieces from his collection “Dream Streets” that he brought to the Atlas Performing Arts Center on Saturday were an absorbing exercise in communicating a mindscape. Completed in 2009 as the journey of a mind contemplating the late-night peace of an urban street, they are scored for amplified violin, electronics and Kordas’s film. There are times when the atmosphere they create is palpable.
Some of the movements are quite realistic (reflected images, both visual and aural, of people walking in urban spaces – the night sky), while others are completely abstract. But, throughout, Dufallo and Kordas avoid the obvious rhythmic interplay of film and score and only rarely does Dufallo use the electronics to distort the violin sound.
The opening “Tusch” (Toccata) by Armando Bayolo for amplified violin and electronics, in three classically fast-slow-fast sections, had Dufallo creating his own accompaniment loops and then playing to them with the same sense of ensemble seen in fine chamber performance..
“House of Solitude,” a collaboration of Kordas with composer Paola Prestini, suffered from the fact that the strange transformations in the film (toes and ears appearing and disappearing into the landscape — bodies intertwined) made it really hard to pay attention to the music. Prestini has written other spellbinding music for violin. This collaboration may not be the best vehicle for her talents.
Reinthaler is a freelance writer.