Yoshtoyoshto (2015 – current)

A live divination with Moving Image, Music and Story by Peter Mettler (filmmaker), Franz Treichler (musician, The Young Gods), and Jeremy Narby (author of The Cosmic Serpent and Intelligence in Nature).

A filmmaker, a musician and an anthropologist fuse their arts in a live alchemical improvisation, feeding off each other in real time, drawing from our shared human existence, saturated with knowledge, sound and image. This three-way fusion mixes hypnotic technologies with oral tradition. It transforms and re-contextualizes self-made and collected materials. It engages in a kind of divination of the mediated world’s ‘unconscious’.

Amazonian Yaminahua people say all living beings are animated by yoshi, which are invisible, multifaceted beings. To communicate with yoshi, they sing in an indirect and metaphoric language called “tsai yoshto yoshto”: “language twisting twisting”, or twisted language. Yaminahua people use twisted language to address the multifaceted yoshi beings, because “normal words would crash into them,” whereas twisted words allow you to go in close (but not too close), to circle around them and see them clearly. Here, metaphor is not improper naming, but the only naming possible.

Performed at VideoEx Festival 2015, Théâtre de Vidy Lausanne 2016, Warsaw 2017, CPH:DOX Copenhagen 2017. More performances TBA.

Confluence: Inner Pierces, Outer Spaces (2016)

An improvised live performance with Peter Mettler and John Oswald as part of IN/FUTURE Festival at Cinesphere – the first ever IMAX theatre, in a geodesic dome at Ontario Place (Toronto) with 7.1 surround sound!

In this live performance, these two artists meet for the first time to draw spontaneously from a large database of collected and self-produced materials – mixing, editing, layering, and manipulating them, much as two musicians might in performing an instrumental duet,  effecting a dialogue between two mediums and senses. There is no fixed plan, script or score; each reacts to the other, building a one-of-a-kind live audio visual experience.

Using as their base archival images drawn from some of Nasa’s cosmic recordings, Oswald and Mettler perform at the confluence of inner space and outer space, highlighting machine mediated vision, autonomous spacecrafts, landing ports, and telescopes that travel through time, paralleled by a variety of fanciful renderings of what might be found in the beyond. Through the artists reactions to, and manipulations of, this raw unpredictable material, a reflection of our earthly yearning and imagination coalesces.

"Moving into the future we see ever more deeply into cosmic reaches unimaginably far from our ground, but also into new and unfamiliar dimensions of perception, knowledge and awareness. Our image-making media lie at the crux of inner and outer exploration in that they have the potential to both document objective reality and subjective inner space, suggesting and discovering altered ways of being and seeing."

From the Vortex Perspective (2016)

Images by Peter Mettler, sound composed by Paul Frehner. Commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for New Creations Festival.

From the Vortex Perspective is a commissioned piece for live cinema and orchestra derived through a cyclical exchange of musical and visual propositions between composer Paul Frehner and filmmaker Peter Mettler. The notion of rotation around an axis is at the heart of the work, both in reference to the process of its creation as well as in its thematic and musical content. Notions of humanity’s relationship to cycles, orbits and tides are implied through a variety of contexts, from experiential and environmental, to scientific and mystic.

As the conductor and orchestra interpret the music from Frehner’s score, so does Mettler perform the edits, mixes and combinations of cinematic sound and imagery, live to the music, projecting onto three different screens. Every rendering of the piece reveals a different combination and chemistry of image and orchestral performance.