VIIXIX – Restorations of a Theme

Tate Fisher, College of Engineering

Based off of the events that befell the ancient city of Pompeii, VIIXIX (79, the year that Mt. Vesuvius erupted) goes through four movements describing the city’s history- the morning of Mt. Vesuvius’ eruption, the few hours beforehand, the centuries after, and the city’s eventual rediscovery. The piece uses the Westminster Quarters, the bells that mark each quarter of an hour, as the theme, with each movement being a variation of each of the theme’s “quarters”, representing the passing of time. The variations start out relatively hidden in the first two movements, becoming clearer in the second half of the piece.

The light patterns displayed are taken from a frequency analysis of each of the sections, each pixel of the LED display showing a color based on the timbre of the work at that moment in time. The trees and sky behind the patterns of light is a representation of the sky over the city, fading in and out as the city is covered and uncovered.

This event includes a link to the YouTube premiere, as well as a post-show Zoom hangout.

This project was made possible by the Thompson Prize award given by ArtsEngine.