Book of Shadows.
A video ballet by Janis Mattox. 25 minutes, color mastered in Betacam SP with digital sound.
Traditionally, a book of shadows was the secret record of rituals, healings and special knowledge handed down by a wise-woman/ shaman/ witch to her apprentices. It represented the source and transmission of feminine power. This film is a ritual invocation of that power.
Employing the unprecedented sound and lighting design, "Book of Shadows" propels the human form into the landscape of dream and myth. Symphonically textured music utilizes computer enhancement to heighten the natural beauty of instruments and voice, and a Middle Eastern tuning system recalls ancient roots. Featuring dancers Marci Javril and Riccardo Morrison, Book of Shadows is an experience free of time, place and gravity where sensuous music and radiant images mate in a ritual of mystery and metamorphosis.
Book of Shadows premiered in San Francisco at GOOD SOUND FESTIVAL '92 and has won awards at film festivals in Baltimore, Berkeley, Houston and New York.
Producer and artistic director Janis Mattox. Performed by Marci Javril and Riccardo Morrison, Directed by Don Ferguson, Director of Photography Terrance Forgeite, Artistic advisor and body painting Cindy Lenssen, Music by Janis Mattox with Sussan Deihim vocals, Stuart Dempster, garden hose and digeridu, Jon English, contrabass, Mel Graves, contrabass, Daniel Kobialka, violin, Pauline Oliveros, accordian, Janis Mattox and Loren Rush, pianos, Timothy White, flute and soprano saxophone.
Janis Mattox, artistic director/producer/composer is a founding member of Good Sound Foundation, a group of professional musicians, artists, and technologists dedicated to revitalizing the experience of sound in live performance. She has created and produced works involving new music technologies, musicians, actors and dancers at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics since 1978.
Her work incorporates archetypal dramatization, experimental sound and lighting designs, film, video and just intonation tuning systems.
She has received numerous awards and grants including three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Her music can be heard on the CD "The Digital Domain" (Elektra, 1984), on the radio series "Composers in California" (National Public Radio, 1981). In "West Coast Composers" (1986), a BBC film documentary, and the forthcoming CD 'Seven Chakras" (CRI) with Linda Montano and The Good Sound Band.
Marci Javril, dancer/choreographer, has been a featured performer in hi-tech multi-media showcases, musicals, dance productions, video and theatrical works throughout the United States and Europe. She performs with interactive computer graphics and animation, live video image processing, lasers, lumia and midi-interface systems. Javril's forte is live improvisation where she draws from an extensive repertoire of classical and contemporary styles that include jazz, modern dance, blues, tap, ballet, physical theater, hatha yoga, capoeira, samba, contact improvisation and continuum dance meditation.
Available in VHS STEREO HIFI from THE JUST INTONATION STORE, 535 Stevenson Street San Francisco CA 94103 415 864-8123.