“Trinity” began life as a collaboration between experimental musicians Lustmord and Biosphere and video artist Marcel Weber (MFO).
The project explores in sound and visuals the first nuclear weapons tests in the New Mexico desert. “Trinity” was the code name of the first detonation of a nuclear weapon, conducted by the US Army in July 1945, that was brought to fruition as a result of the Manhattan Project. In order to create this work, the artists travelled to the White Sands Missile Range and Los Alamos to research and make field recordings in early 2012.
Trinity continues to exist as a Lustmord project, in collaboration with MFO.
PRESS ON “TRINITY”
Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote of the premiere performance at Unsound Festival New York: “… enveloping, murky, ultra-slow-motion music. ‘Trinity’ filled the room with tectonic rumbles and gradual whooshes, with tolling crashes followed by silences, with air-raid sirens, with claustrophobically thick cluster chords that were sometimes electronic and sometimes orchestral.” – New York Times
In March 2013, TRINITY was presented by Lustmord and MFO at Adelaide Festival. The Guardian reviewed the show by writing: “Drones resonated across the venue, interrupted by shards of noise and fragments of melody, this time to images of desert lanscapes where the US military have tested nuclear weapons. It was bleak. But beautiful.” – The Guardian
14th Mar 2013 – Adelaide Arts Festival, Adelaide, Australia
23rd Feb 2013 – Sonic Arts Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands
19th Oct 2012 – Unsound Festival Krakow, Poland
20th May 2012 – MUTEK Festival, Montreal, Canada
28 April 2012 – Communikey Festival, Boulder, USA
21 April 2012 – Unsound Festival New York, USA
“ The Manhatten Project was a massive enterprise with more then a hundred thousand people employed. It gathered the brightest minds of the free world – hidden in the vast depths of the New Mexico Desert. A collaborative effort undertaken to unleash the sun’s nuclear reaction on earth, and to create the single most destructive weapon of all time. The working and living atmosphere in this monastery in the sands must have been tense, very focussed, and the work would have been carried out with great devotion; but also, seemingly, it was a place of great exchange, a scientific and intellectual wonderland. Such a concentration of energies – logistic, scientific and physical – with all it’s positive and negative consequences was a truly unique moment in history. When producing the visual side of Trinity my primary interest was to explore this moment.
The visuals are based on material shot by Matthew Betlej in the New Mexican Desert for the project as well as on archival material from various institutions in the US. I was asked to process and edit the footage and then to create and perform the live shows.
Within the archival footage I was looking for the imperfect moments in the propaganda reels, seconds in which the facial and postural expression of the filmed scientists revealed something outside their official role. These remarkable seconds were played back in slow-motion to expose their idiosyncrasies, and embedded in a technical-scientific landscape, surrounded by an ocean of sand and stones.
Additionally all imagery was treated with subtle effects to bring out the pervasive qualities of the nuclear reaction and its emitted radiation; there is a varying amount of grain added to the footage, faulty brightness curves (giving the appearance of false-developed photo film) and increasing colour transformations, inspired by the imagery of the Castle Bravo bomb test on the Bikini atoll. ”