Composition Department


The Music of Jeffrey Hass

Capsule (2017)

Duration: 9 minutes 

Original Music and Video • Jeffrey Hass
Choreography • Michael Vernon
Dancer • Ryan McCreary
Program Notes:

Capsule is a ballet-based video with 3D graphics and original computer music. The video, prepared using green screen (chroma key) techniques and the Cinema 4D graphics application, places a ballerina in unexpected contexts and environments, including a floating chrome capsule that reappears throughout, an antique syringe, popsicle fireworks, a movement-mirroring pin sculpture, steel eyeballs and so forth. The music, in parallel, incorporates the environment’s foley (sound effect) cues into the compositional texture, which formally is a series of timbral and textural variations on several musical ideas presented early on.

While I have worked with dance for a long time as a composer, even with video, adding the element of 3D space and structure for me was like the proverbial old dog learning new tricks. Serving as both composer and videographer allows for a greater creative link between sound and sight. Being my third 3D work, I am ever-excited to continue on with dance in imaginary environments, particularly as the dance world become more and more interested in dance on screen as an art form of its own and my own graphics skills evolve.

I was thrilled to work with my Indiana University faculty colleague and choreographer Michael Vernon, and dance major Ryan McCreary. Also special thanks to graphic artist Nikolaus Schatz for his guidance is creating several of the 3D models, and Christian Claessens for providing additional choreography.

Capsule was commissioned by the Trustees of Indiana University and the Jacobs School of Music in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IU Department of Music (2011) and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IU School of Music (2021).

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