dis/recon, title of composition steven berkowitz cd cover
D I S / R E C O N    
d e t a i l s


D I S / R E C O N
©1993 Steven Berkowitz / Fluid Musix RLB4204 (format: CD-R)

Classic Ambient/ Organic/ Fluid Music
derived from the movement of a cluster of leaves
as it floats downstream in Pennypack Creek

Perfect for relaxation, contemplation or inspiration


A motor driven camera captures the movement of a cluster of leaves as it flows downstream. A sequence of photographs is produced that maps the changes of position through space and time as the leaves are displaced and reconfigured. The result is a visual model of this organic system.


A computer system converts information of the photographs into numerical data. A second set of images is generated to precisely measure the dynamics of the movement of the leaves. Still and animated computer graphics present a mathematical model of the organic structure.


Software written by the artist translates the images from a visual to an aural language. The changes in the position of the leaves and physical space determine the changes in positions of notes in harmonic space. This process builds an acoustic model of the physical reality, a unique representation of the original organic form.


The changes in the position of the leaves and physical space determine the changes in positions of notes in harmonic space. The leaves begin to swirl as they are caught in the current of the stream, and the cluster expands. The resulting score widens in both the spacing between the notes and the overall pitch range, so the piece gets slower and wider as it progresses. This produces a more dynamic and dramatic effect.


The final product ultimately, is not any single image from this collection, but the relationships between all when experienced together; a self-referential, lateral arrangement (non-linear). When the same image is perceived simultaneously through multiple senses, the potential for synesthesia is produced. This is a profound state of mind that intimately connects our visions, thoughts, and feelings to inspire our very essence.


The two scores presented here are translations, from visual to acoustic, of the dynamic shifts of an organic system. In this case the source is the displacement and reconfiguration of a cluster of seven leaves floating downstream, as distilled from a seven-frame photographic sequence. The waves of water that convey the leaves are converted into waves of sound moving through the air. Sympathetic vibrations are established in our bodies triggering waves of emotions that touch our soul. The resulting resonance is a powerful healing force.


Upon very close examination, it is seen that all things are constructed of patterns – the air, the water, the earth. Our bodies are a microcosm of the world, made of the same materials, following the same dance. This all serves as evidence of a unity of form, and these aural images become a philosophical model of universality. We are the sum total of the air, the water, the earth, moving according to the patterns of life, ubiquitous and ever changing.


Lateral Imaging is a way of seeing the world. It is a philosophy that links our perception, conception, and emotion. Lateral Imaging views the world as a field of coincidental effects, each affecting all others in an intimate way. The music on this recording is written as a web of interactive phrases, each changing the way all the others are heard. The foreground and background are determined by where the listener focuses their attention as each individual note loses its identity to the whole. This is a self-referential system, i.e. Lateral.


The bottom line of this and all of Berkowitz’s work is to show how we are totally integrated with our world, not standing outside looking in. The patterns of nature are the same as the patterns of life in general. The patterns of our intellect determine our view of the world, i.e. our world creates us so we can create our world. This unity is the essence of Lateral Imaging. All is one.