Lucky Dragons – Actual Reality

We love Lucky Dragons and all the beautiful sounds, visions and actions they bring into being. Lately we’ve been quite hypnotized by their piece “Actual Reality.” Please enjoy this video offering and explore further by visiting their web-home. Here’s more info on the piece from Lucky Dragons themselves…

“Actual Reality” maps the time of a chamber music performance and supplies visual cues for musicians on and off stage to respond to: a spinning flute, a laser-struck stargazer lily, and lights mapped onto the front page of the July 5th, 2011 Los Angeles times fireworks report.

“Actual Reality” is a three part video that accompanies a music composition of the same title by Luke Fischbeck. The score is written for an ensemble that includes bassoon, cloud chamber bowl, computer, and flutes that rove the concert hall.

Lucky Dragons on “Actual Reality”

I’ve had a google alert for the words “actual reality” for several years now, every day receiving an email
digest of newly discovered instances of the phrase in context. It is a candid and democratic
view of the internet. The term is used by diarists, pundits, analysts, self-help gurus
and angry blog-commenters alike, as a lets-get-serious reference to the common background
against which imaginary things come together momentarily. Everyone should be able to recognize
actual reality, or to compare things against it, to measure when we’ve moved too far from it.

“Little by little it comes into view like a condensing cloud; from the virtual state it passes into the actual;
and as its outlines become more distinct and its surface takes on color, it tends to imitate
perception. But it remains attached to the past by its deepest roots, and if, when once realized, it
did not retain something of its original virtuality, if, being a present state, it were not something
which stands out distinct from the present, we should never know it for a memory.” (bergson “matter and memory”)

We experience sound moving from live utterance to processed signal, amplified and diffused into the
room. We enact a translation, listening and responding to the processed signal, attaching new
layers to it, simultaneously forging and following a wave of sound that condenses into patterns
and disperses into clouds. Simple video images form for us an anchor in time, progressing slowly,
with action that is hard to perceive until gradual changes are made apparent. A flute, a
lily, a newspaper, a triangle, a mirror, a discharge of smoke—-these visual elements provide a
medium through which to perceive a specific speed, a dilated scale of time passing.

“Actual Reality” is a multi-media work that develops over the course of several iterations and
forms–a scored performance, an improvised response, a piece of software, text, audio recording,
a video in progress–each version processing and resynthesizing previous Actual Realities.

Download/Share the audio from “Actual Reality” via Lucky Dragons’ Bandcamp page.