This is where the fun really began: after I did the first sketch of the Aria, I brought it into Final Cut Pro to start working on the Variation 1, and as I was getting ready for a long period of exploration in order to discover how to do the Variation 1, I first retimed the (silent) Aria video so that it would play in exactly the same duration as the Variation 1.

I did not have to go further, this was/is it!

I have since gone into similar discoveries from variation to variation (literally, all the Variations are made with the “fabric” of the Aria), had to resist the temptation to go into a game of “smarts”.
I can see some of what Bach did (to some extent), I respect and am genuinely mesmerized by it, but my work is never about “smartness”, it is always (if I am lucky) about what can be done “by way of not knowing”.

John Cage expressed that so very well in a conversation with Philip Guston:
“When you are in your studio, and as you start working, you are there with all your thoughts, as well of those of your friends and enemies.
As you keep on working, and if you are lucky, they start leaving, one by one.
Now, if you persist, and if you are very lucky, even you leave.”

For many years, that has driven my work, and if lucky, that brings me to where the real work begins.


This is the second part of the Goldberg Variations, a music - images dialogue in 32 movements between Elisabetta Guglielmin (harpsichord) and Jean Detheux (images).

Goldberg Variations videos:
1. Aria:

At first, the 32 videos will be posted on Vimeo, one at a time (Aria + 30 Variations + Aria da Capo) followed by the original sketch of the full piece.

Also, 32 albums of images, pulled from the individual videos, will be posted on Facebook, in synchronization with the posting of the videos themselves.

First album, with images pulled from the Aria (more images are added regularly):

Here’s the image sequence done with the images from that album:

Second album, images pulled from Variation 1: (yet to come)

People’s reactions to those images will determine how image sequences will be built, and those image sequences will be used to rework the original sketch of the Goldberg Variations video.

Elisabetta’s full Goldberg Variations recording can be heard here:

More info on this remarkable music here:

This adventure is made possible by kind permission from Naxos of America.

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