Live improvised performance with music by Fred Frith


This improvised performance with musical accompaniment by Fred Frith is an homage to the late collector, artist and scientist Andreas Züst. Züst was well-known for his eccentric and eclectic collections of art, books, objects of nature, meterological phenomena, and all things Polar. He was a friend to both Mettler and Frith and a collaborator on Mettler’s film Picture of Light (1994) about the aurora borealis. The images remixed in Meterologies include a range of content derived from the personal archive of Züst, including illustrations from early scientific and alchemical texts, manipulated and mixed with pigments of the forest.

This performance is another step in the process that Frith and Mettler have been developing over several years, involving live improvised dialogs between image and sound. The filmmaker, using self-developed software, draws spontaneously from a large database of collected and self-produced movie clips, mixing, editing, layering, and effecting them, much like a musician might play an instrument. The musician, in this case one of the great masters of improvisation, plays his guitars, with sticks, stones and whatever might produce sounds, sending them through looping machines and various processors. There is no fixed plan, script or score, rather each reacts to the other, building a one-of-a-kind live audio visual experience.

In remembering Andreas Zuest, this performance honors the curious, and the urge to explore, gather, collate and associate. Observing the weather or watching nature as he did, offers inspirations of structure, narrative and more, to the mediums of music and cinema.

Performance history:

2012 Videoex, Zürich, Switzerland.
2012 Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, France.
2012 Cinematheque Quebecoise, Montreal, Canada.

Meteorologies (2012) – 5 minute excerpt from Videoex performance, Zürich