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T h e · A e s t h e t i c s · o f · F a r e w e l l s

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The Aesthetics of Farewells is a short-film/performance composed of antique royalty-free footage and electronic sounds from a modular-synthesizer.

Following the tradition of early cinema –where silent movies were usually accompanied by live music–, this performance presents a similar experience with modern musical instruments.

You are the rocket.


Direction, sound design, video editing and post-production, storyboards
mixing and mastering by:
Juan Manuel Escalante


Performance Credits:
Mark Hirsch (Event Coordinator), Austin Bernales (Main Cameras), Owen Campbell (Stage Set-up Support), Sam Green (Additional Footage), Alan Macy (SBCAST Co-Director & Founder), Maiza Hixson (SBCAST Co-Director and PR).

Special thanks to:
Mark Hirsch, Marko Peljhan, Rodger (Jieliang) Luo, Keith Higginbotham, Austin Bernales,
The Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science and Technology, The Prelinger Archives,
and The Media Arts & Technology Graduate Program at UCSB.



The piece is arranged in the following parts:


Context, a storm is brewing.


Farewell / Launch.
The decisive moment, a dire landscape left behind.

Space, a new space. A Waltz.
A room for something different.

Descent or decay.

What happened? Let's try to understand our catastrophes.


A single sketchbook was used during the whole process. Both as documentation and a tool. Above, our annotations of the piece. Since Summer 2017, I started to record several patches using two different modular synthesizers (mine and the one at The UCSB Studio Varèse). 70% of the modular sounds come from these recordings, the rest were recorded a few weeks before the performance.

Modular sounds are 99% of the total sounds used. The 1% left is captured using a field recorder , taking Daria Noor Izad's clay/ceramic works as a source. This is part of a previous study called "Sounds of Clay". Below, the full original study.



"Sounds of Clay" (Summer 2017)




Above, the performing score for Nov 10th.
Below, a first draft of the storyboard (mid-September).

The visual score as an aid during the sound design process for part VI. (or Epilogue):





A total of 134 movie files were downloaded, sliced and classified. Most of these contents were taken from The Prelinger Archives and NASA (full credits at the end of the film).






Photo credits: * Sam Green ** Kim Yasuda


Part III. opens the room for a modular improvisation. Below, the patch used on the premiere performance. In it, MakeNoise's Morphagene is the main conductor of the electronic orchestra. From there, its output is sent to different modules that quantize, filter, delay, provide saturation and add reverb to the original sounds. These outputs are summoned gradually during the improvisation. The patch below, also allows to process live sound, which permits to emphasize certain portions of the pre-recorded soundtrack during the performance.







  >> Download CV
>> Previous and further work at Realität
>> "Logics of Elusion" - a photo journal from Cali.

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