artificial eye
inspired by the life of Hildegard von Bingen
Multi-media performance

Zeena Parkins electric harp, sampler -----Janene Higgins live video mix

A blinding light of exceptional brilliance
went through my entire brain;
and it kindled my whole heart and breast
like a fire: not burning, but warming...
and suddenly, I understood.

The duo consists of a live interaction of music and video:
several sources of imagery (from tapes and a camera feed) are projected
through mixers and manipulated by Janene, to the sounds of Zeena's
unique electric harp and various electronic sound processors.
The pieces are based on a core composition,
with room for improvisation for both performers.

Artificial Eye is inspired by the life and works of Hildegard von Bingen
(11th-century composer, healer, poet, cloistered nun, scholar):
her writings, music, hallucinatory experiences, and her theories
on female sexuality & reproduction. The imagery ranges from the violence
of Europe during the Middle Ages, to serene musings on the female body,
to the mysticism of early Catholicism. The music makes full use
of Zeena's unique sonic vocabulary developed for her electric harp
(a hybrid of an acoustic harp and an electric guitar), and is embellished with
samples of Hildegard's choir music, and spoken segments of Hildegard's texts.

Artificial Eye premiered in Kassel, Germany, for Documenta X.
It was subsequently presented at "Music Unlimited" in Wels, Austria,
at The University of Missouri's Jesse Theater,
and at the "City of Women" festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

I have sensed these visions in myself
since childhood.

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