Torrent is a continuation of a series of multi-screen animations dealing with water flow Martine has been producing since 2010. Using only simple white and black graphics Torrent portrays the process of water trickling, pouring and cascading down the walls, swirling onto the floor as a stylised animated whirlpool, and then finally draining away to nothing. In this way the image of the waterfall whirlpool may be both allegorical and spectacle and be considered simultaneously benign and majestic bringing to mind a variety of associations, ranging from the desktop screensaver, a YouTube relaxation sleep video, the grandiose power of an actual waterfall, to the malevolent spectacle of a natural disaster and the incongruity of seeing water flowing from places where it normally shouldn’t. In addition, the idea of a torrent while traditionally referring to the flow of water has now the more everyday association of the flow of data, the cascade of downloading that is happening anywhere at anytime. In this work the reductive animated flowing substitute allows the spectator walk within it, to become immersed in the kinetic excess, despite being a minimal imitation of the real thing.
Philip Brophy’s score is based around a series of directed performances and improvisational passages by harpist Mary Doumany. It was important for the harp to be the central identity, playing upon the historical iconography of the harp and its associations with swirling water while also allowing it to break out this archetype to also produce rich textural sounds. There are no other instruments in the composition, only harp, both natural and processed oscillating between representation and abstraction, combining melodic muzak-like gestures with more unfamiliar abstract harp textures.
A stereo and Dolby Digital 7.1 mix of the score to Torrent will be released on the CD/DVDR-audio discs of Filmmusic Vol.4 on Sound Punch Records.