Capsule is a ballet-based video with 3D graphics and original computer music. The video, prepared using green screen (chroma key) techniques and the Cinema 4D graphics application, places a ballerina in unexpected contexts and environments, including a floating chrome capsule that reappears throughout, an antique syringe, popsicle fireworks, a movement-mirroring pin sculpture, steel eyeballs and so forth. The music, in parallel, incorporates the environment’s foley (sound effect) cues into the compositional texture, which formally is a series of timbrel and textural variations on several musical ideas presented early on.
While I have worked with dance for a long time as a composer, even with video, adding the element of 3D space and structure for me was like the proverbial old dog learning new tricks. Serving as both composer and videographer allows for a greater creative link between sound and sight. Being my third 3D work, I am ever-excited to continue on with dance in imaginary environments, particularly as the dance world become more and more interested in dance on screen as an art form of its own and my own graphics skills evolve.
I was thrilled to work with my Indiana University faculty colleague and choreographer Michael Vernon, and dance major Ryan McCreary. Also special thanks to graphic artist Nikolaus Schatz for his guidance is creating several of the 3D models, and Christian Claessens for providing additional choreography.
Capsule was commissioned by the Trustees of Indiana University and the Jacobs School of Music in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IU Department of Music (2011) and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IU School of Music (2012).
Jeffrey Hass is currently Professor of Composition at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he serves as the Director of the Center for Electronic and Computer Music (CECM). He has composed many works for electronics with live instruments and ensembles, as well as new works for contemporary dance. A Fellow of the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities, he has investigated new interfaces for live interaction between music, video and dance, and created hybrid video/computer music works with 3D motion graphics. Mr. Hass has served on the faculties of Rutgers University and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. His acoustic compositions have been premiered by the Louisville Orchestra and Memphis Symphony, and been performed at Lincoln Center. His works have also been performed at numerous national and international festivals for both music and dance, including SEAMUS, ICMC, NYCEMF and NIME and the World Dance Alliance International Conference. His works and videos can be found online at jeffreyhass.org.
Mr. Hass has received a number of professional honors and awards including the 1994 National Band Association Composition competition, as well as the 1995 Walter Beeler Memorial Award with Lost in the Funhouse, a work for symphonic band and electronic tape, and the 1996 Lee Ettelson Composer’s award for Keyed Up, a work for two pianos and tape. In 1997, All the Bells and Whistles placed first in the United States Army Band’s 75th Anniversary Composition Competition. Other awards include selection of his Symphony for Orchestra with Electronics for the 2006 ASCAP/Rudolph Nissim award, the 2007 Heckscher Award for his chamber orchestra work City Life, and an orchestral commission by the 2008 Utah Arts Festival for Postcards from the Canyon. He was recently awarded a fellowship at the Bogliasco Foundation Study Center in Liguria, Italy to work on a second symphony with electronics.