Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis


Characterized by a rhythmic and formal investigation of light and color, the films of Daïchi Saïto exist on the peripheries of the perception. His work often relies on the phenomenon of “persistence of vision”:  using succinct bursts of images, Saïto’s works play with the retina’s reaction to shapes and color and the afterimages that the audience “sees” in spaces of black. Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis, is the second collaboration between Saïto and composer Malcolm Goldstein. This new film picks up where their earlier collaboration, All That Rises, left off: an aural and visual exploration of landscape in their Montreal neighbourhood. The project deals with familiar landscape imagery the artists both share in their district at the foot of Mount-Royal Park.  Using the images of maple trees in the park as main visual motif, Saïto creates a film in which the formations of the trees and their subtle interrelation with the space around them act as an agent to transform the viewer’s sensorial perception of the space portrayed. Accompanying this is a structured violin improvisation by Goldstein informed by a system of overtones.  A visual poem reminiscent of minimalist music, Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis invites perceptual insight and revelation through a syntactical structure based on patterns, variations and repetition.  

Malcolm Goldstein CA

Composer and violinist Malcolm Goldstein has been active in the presentation of new music and dance since the early 1960's.  In New York City he was the co-founder of the Tone Roads Ensemble and a participant in the Judson Dance Theater, the New York Festival of the Avant Garde and the Experimental Intermedia Foundation. He has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, presenting solo violin concerts and appearing as a soloist with new music and dance ensembles.

Since the mid-1960's Goldstein has integrated structured improvisation elements into his compositions, exploring new performance techniques within a variety of instrumental and vocal frameworks. His music has been performed at such new music festivals as New Music America; Meet the Moderns, NYC; Pro Musica Nova, Bremen; De Ijsbreker (Amsterdam), Weiner Festwochen, Time of Music (Finland), Inventionen, Berlin; and Musik der Zeit, Cologne. In the 1990's he was director of the Ensemble for New Music of the Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt.

Goldstein has received grants for his music from the national Endowment of the Arts (USA), Massachusetts Council for the Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts. He has received commissions from Westdeustcher Rundfunk and the Canada Council for the Arts, most recently receiving a commission to compose a string quartet for Quatuor Bozzini, and has been represented on numerous CD recordings, including Experimental Intermedia (XI), da capo, wergo, Nonsequitur/0.0.Discs, and Eremite. He has written extensively on improvisation and is the author of the book Sounding the Full Circle.

For more information about Malcolm Goldstein, click here.

Malcolm Goldstein