Multimedia Meditation

David Irving Weiner and I did not set out to make a spiritual piece for the Westchester Square Arts Festival although the venue was the sanctuary St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The 30-foot-high supports for the dome above the nave compelled us more than the golden altarpiece and inscribed marble floors. We hung the central sculptural element of Impel, Release from the chain that usually holds a continuously burning candle. We used a hymnal and a Book of Common Prayer to raise one of our two video projectors. Yet, our sculpted plastic forms, microfluidics lab footage, and detuned piano improvisations were not considered sacrilege by anyone who visited the space. Instead, the rector Rev. Joade Dauer-Cardasis requested that we leave the installation up for Sunday Mass.

Impel, Release
art in a sacred space

When I was a member of the worship team at Three Village Church, I played several preludes and offertories. They included a medley of “Fairest Lord Jesus” and Phil Wickham’s “You’re Beautiful,” a palm-muted piano version of the tune “Holy Manna,” and an arrangement I wrote of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” for violin and piano. I never imagined using electroacoustic music during a worship service. As Mother Joade spoke of the honor of those called to be mystics and as candlelight flickered through our flowing forms, I realized that when David and I invited viewers to reflect on their perception of time and space through our meditation on different forms of liquidity–fabric gathered and suspended, plastic sculpted and cooled, wax extrusions submerged and filmed, piano recorded and reverberated–we created an opportunity for meditation in general.

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