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WGBH Media Library and Archives

Music Image Workshop: Tristan and Isolde

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This work features an elaborate play of sound, color and light. Abstract images manipulated into a tunnel effect seem to carry the viewer deeper and deeper into the space of the monitor. Some existing footage is incorporated, including the surface of a body of water. This work appears to have been divided into several sections, including "Prelude" and "The Love Death." The music is Richard Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde." Directed by David Atwood.

The Music Image Workshop was primarily a project of Ron Hays, who used the Paik-Abe videosynthesizer to create elaborate visual scores set to music. It was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts from 1972 through 1974. Hays worked closely with WGBH producer and director, David Atwood, to create both live broadcasts and finished works. Additionally, works by other artists were presented under the auspices of the Music Image Workshop.
Color, Video art, Light, Music
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