Design and Media Arts Professor Creates New Work

NIU School of Art professor of Design and Media Arts Bart Woodstrup recently premiered a new animation in collaboration with composer/accordionist Merima Ključo. The piece, entitled The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book, sold out its first three performances in Putney, Vermont - where it was completed as a part of the Yellow Barn residency program. The piece continues to another sold out performance in Boston on March 26th.

The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book, a multimedia work composed by Bosnian-born, Los Angeles-based accordionist Merima Ključo, traces the highly dramatic story of one of the world’s most famous manuscripts. Featuring Ključo’s use of musical traditions from Spain, Italy, Austria, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, together with pianist Seth Knopp and video artist Bart Woodstrup, The Sarajevo Haggadah traces the manuscript’s travels from medieval Spain to 20th century Bosnia, where it was hidden and rescued during World War II by Muslims, to its restoration by the National Museum in Sarajevo after the 1992-1995 war. Touring cities include Austin, Boston, San Francisco, Toronto, and others to be announced.

Next to the musical journey of the Haggadah, video artist Bart Woodstrup created a visual backdrop to the music that subtly interweaves the imagery of the Sarajevo Haggadah with elements of the book's history. Inspired by the textures found in the illustrations, as well as the stains and signs of aging found in the book, Bart literally "illuminates" and animates those elements with a variety of digital software techniques. His animations are almost entirely be composed of imagery from the book, yet arranged in an abstract way that blend with the musical composition to make a unified audio-visual experience.

You may view a trailer for the project here, and please also visit the project here.

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