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Qasim Naqvi shares fascinating video for Head Within a Head

26.7  2022


One year after the album Chronology was released on Erased Tapes, Pakistani-American composer Qasim Naqvi shares the video for Head Within a Head. Directed by L.A. filmmaker Christina Burchard the video stars dancers Matthew 'ET' Gibbs and Renee Kester.

About the piece:

"For Head Within A Head, I continued my collaboration with dancer Matthew Gibbs and we invited Renee Kester to join us. Qasim and I talked a lot about the nature of the song, and his relationship to this broken down, temperamental Mini-Moog. He was constantly having to wrestle the instrument, contending with its quirks to bizarre ends. Sounds would appear or disappear on their own. Ultimately, he found a flow that was quite beautiful and strange. I wanted Renee and Matthew's performance to render a similar laboured, symbiotic, and almost parasitic quality to their movement. The sound elements could be described as alien, but also organic, like muscles and bones stretching and grinding together. I love the focus and concentration in their eyes. There's a potent brew in that focus. They surrender to each other despite the difficulty and its spellbinding." — Christina Burchard, director

"On the level of functionality, the synthesizer was kind of janky. It produced a low level din of white electrical noise and some of the knobs were erratic. Sometimes it would just shut off and the idea would end there. It was like bringing some ancient thing back from the dead and having it adapt. But with sound that always leads to interesting results. When we think of a computer, we think of limitless options and an abundance of memory for recalling ideas. The Moog holds a reverse approach. It's a tactile piece of machinery with discrete circuits, 3 voltage-controlled oscillators and knobs for controlling the contour of the oscillator. It's monophonic, so chords or polyphonic playing is out of the question. The absence of this function required a layering of ideas in stages. Also, there's no way of saving anything or recalling presets. Once you make a sound, that's it. It exists in that moment unless you chronicle the settings by writing them down. It's kind of like making a gesture with a brush. Once it strikes the canvas, you can either freeze it in time or erase it forever” — Qasim Naqvi, composer

· watch the video
· stream and order Chronology