four strings quartet: prelude

- 2013 -

16mm film, transferred to digital

FOUR STRINGS QUARTET IS A PROJECT in which a hand-made string quartet plays the leading role. The quartet is made out of four blocks of solid wood, all from the same tree. The sizes correspond to the sound bodies ('klankkasten' in Dutch) of a traditional string quartet: a cello, a viola and two violins.

The first step of making the instruments, carving the wood, is recorded on 16mm film. In fact, that is perhaps the first time that the instruments are being played.

The way the film is made relates to the way special effects were created in the early days of film-making. So what seems, at times, like a 'split-screen' created in digital post-production is in fact the result of carefully shooting four seperate scenes, rewinding the film after each shooting before filming the next scene. This way, all the instruments could be played together (by one person); all the action takes place within the same frame.

* Many thanks to Daan de Bakker and Matt Kemp for helping me make this work.