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Artists collaborate for two nights of creativity at 5th Avenue

Sound and Shadow
5th Avenue Cinema
510 SW Hall St.
‘Rad’ w/ soundtrack by Scott Jackson
6 and 10 p.m.
‘The Abominable Dr. Phibes’
w/ soundtrack by DJ Post Human
10 p.m.
Mome Raths w/ visuals by Ovid
“Stateless” w/ music by Lone Ovig
“The Beaverton Ruins” w/ music
by the Ben Cline Express
“Faces in the Field” w/ music by Scott Jackson
9 p.m.
$4 students/ $5 general

Before sound could be attached to film, theatergoers heard rousing piano accompaniment to movies of the day. PSU music student Scott Jackson believes in this idea and he, along with Selena Hoy, have organized a group of Portland filmmakers and musicians to update this tradition. “Sight and Sound” is two nights of collaboration at the 5th Avenue Cinema which promises to be both challenging and entertaining.

Scott Jackson wants there to be more places for electronic music and DJing than clubs. Just as there is an eclectic breadth of influences that make up contemporary composition, there are many levels of electronic music. Combining electronic music and film seems natural to Jackson. “The theater can be a contemplative place,” he asserts, “and presenting film and music together can create a sort of communal cave.”

On Friday Jackson performs an original turntable composition accompanying the 80’s BMX classic “Rad.” Also performing that night will be DJ Post Human accompanying the Vincent Price psychotronic horror/schlock beauty “The Abominable Dr. Phibes.” Both films are entertaining enough, but with the updated soundtracks it is a show not to be missed.

Day two of “Sight and Sound” continues to challenge the notions of theater and electronic music. Three-piece electronic band the Mome Raths perform with projected video manipulation by artist Ovid. Ovid doctors light and color projected onto the screen while the Mome Raths provide beats and layers of organs and synthesizers. The results will fall somewhere between ’60s art installation and contemporary experimental film.

Following this presentation will be three short films presented with live soundtrack. “Stateless” by Chris Bennett is a superb collection of black and white images taken throughout the US and Paris. Composer Lone Ovig will perform along to it and the results should be something like the slide show of a dream-like vacation you wish you were on.

“The Beaverton Ruins” follows and brings us into more desolate terrain. The Beaverton Ruins are a future-thinking apartment complex that was left tarp-covered and abandoned when funding ran out. Filmmaker Andy Schmidt captures the strangeness of a progressive architecture project left for dead in affluent Beaverton. The Ben Cline Express provides the soundtrack for this film.

Scott Jackson returns with a composition to accompany the video “Faces in the Field.” Filmmaker Blue Winterhawk sorted though hours of pre-existing film and captured images of extras: The added-on people that make up the background of movies to make them appear real. The surreal nature of a group of people paid to stand around looking natural while doing nothing when shown free of the scene is quite taking. It can be seen as merely a strange collection of images or a comment on the inherent fakeness of big-budget films.

“There is a real thrill in sitting down to watch something homemade,” explained Jackson. “Live music composed for well made movies is a very powerful combination.” This is the first event Selena Hoy and Jackson have organized at the 5th Avenue Cinema, but neither the first event they have been involved in of this kind nor the first time the theater has hosted an event like this. Jackson would like to see this return.

“We’re already planning a summer event and there are a lot of interested artists,” he commented hopefully. This weekend is an excellent moment to show there is community interest as well.