For Tashi

visual music (2019)

With this project, artists Rebecca Ruige Xu and Jiayue Cecilia Wu attempt to create a representation of physical, emotional and psychological journey that a woman goes through when losing her baby prematurely. It depicts the physical trauma inside a woman’s body, hinting the complex emotions she feels while experiencing this emotional and psychological turmoil before she might reach her relative acceptance of this profound loss. This project was produced in loving memory of Tashi, the composer's own miscarried baby, who was gone too soon.

The Tibetan soundscape was recorded in the summer of 2019, during a spiritual field trip after the tragic event happened. It is the glue of sounds of the electronic and acoustic instruments. All the electric sounds were designed and realized using various Eurorack modular synthesis systems, including Make Noise, Pittsburgh, and Mutable Instruments. The ancient Chinese Konghou instrument brings back the beautiful memories of carrying Tashi for just a few months. Making this piece is a self-healing process for the composer.

The visual of this piece is mostly abstract but with references to the real world. It evolves in color, form, and motion following the musical development, echoing the sensation and enriching it with further emotional power. The artist uses GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) programming to model the scene with raymarching algorithms, meaning to render the graphics directly with light. The color themes develop with transition of the emotion, from the initial murky green to violent red, to calming blue and to the eventual peaceful white, indicating the roller coaster of emotions a woman experiences after the loss, such as numbness, disbelief, anger, guilt, sadness, depression and eventually acceptance.

Created by:
Rebecca Ruige Xu
Sean Hongsheng Zhai

Jiayue Cecillia Wu

GLSL with Shadertoy