And Yet It Moves (2013)

HD video/chamber opera, 16'30"

Premiered 2013, ATLAS, University of Colorado Boulder,

And Yet It Moves is my first film. I conceived, implemented, and executed almost the entirety of the work, from composing the music, recording the musicians each individually, to editing the soundtrack and the film itself. I also storyboarded the narrative, directed, and assisted in shooting. 


The film's title is based on an apocryphal statement by Gallileo, who doubted that the solar system was Earth-centric. The film itself is a “love letter” of sorts to academia. The form became an extended-length music video centered around knowledge, with its subjects abstractly representing history, nature, and science. The entire film was shot on CU Boulder’s campus.


The film has three main aspects, collaged together.

1. SCIENCE: filmed at the Sommers-Bausch Observatory, and heard via a saxophone quartet. This layer controls the timeframe and harmonic motion of the piece. The song-like sections of the work are proportional to the chemical elements that make up the Sun, as seen through the dark Fraunhofer lines of the visible spectrum. The low electronic sounds in the work are manipulated audio files of the Sun’s rotation.
2. HISTORY: The human element. Featuring two singers and texts from CU’s first female professor, Mary Rippon, and her student Will Housel. Will and Mary became illicit lovers, quickly marrying. More strikingly Mary became pregnant at a time it was illegal to be a professor and mother. Mary birthed the baby in Germany on a sabbatical, and returned to the States without anyone knowing of her pregnancy. Will brought the baby back to Colorado, and raised their daughter as Mary’s “niece” for most of her life. It was not until 1990 that this “secret child”, and Mary’s story, was brought to light.
3. KNOWLEDGE: Abstract facts and ideas. This layer is depicted in the quartet of students in the library who read pages out of books at random, flip through atlases, maps, and charts, and read lists of items. Their work shows man’s attempts to understand and shape his world through diagrams, texts, and symbols.

This film would not be possible without the support of the staff at Old Main’s CU Heritage Center, Norlin Library, and the Observatory.