The Goldberg Variations
The Goldberg Variations is an installation that continues Paluzzi’s ongoing interest in merging photographic and musical tones.
In this iteration of his tonal series, Paluzzi focuses on the iconic recordings of Bach’s Aria with Diverse Variations (commonly known as The Goldberg Variations) by Glenn Gould in 1955 and 1981. These seminal recordings bookended Gould’s professional life, with the former being his international debut and the latter being the last recording before his death a year later. The 1955 recording, in particular, reinvigorated an interest in Bach’s Goldberg Variations because of Gould’s fast-paced tempi and clinical finger movements, bringing the baroque composer into the 20th century. As an older and more reserved performer, Gould’s second recording, in 1981, was noticeably different with a slower tempo overall.
In Paluzzi’s The Goldberg Variations, there are thirty-two photographs, each visualizing a single Aria or Variation from Bach’s score. The top portion of the photograph visualizes Gould’s 1955 recording, whereas the bottom portrays the 1981 recording. In order to match the tonal range of a particular piece of music, Paluzzi uses darkroom equipment as a musical instrument, operating the aperture of the enlarger lens, contrast filters, and the timer to make sound into light.