illuminated chaconne


Form Unbound

Form Unbound


Illuminated Chaconne Performance Proposal

In Illuminated Chaconne, a live violin performance of Bach’s Second Partita for Solo Violin in D minor combines with creatively projected dream-like documentations of an artist’s visionary insight to interpret the depth and magnetism of Bach’s musical language from different but complementary perspectives.

Based on the underlying design motif of an expanding spiral galaxy, the forty-eight interrelated artworks that accompany Bach’s violin masterwork evolved slowly over half a lifetime of deep listening, and visually reflect the music’s iridescent imprint.


The performance of Bach’s Second Partita and its Chaconne final movement is preceded by an abstract visual and audio prelude in which slowly pulsating, projected fragments of the visual art gradually begin to surround the audience, accompanied by a nearly imperceptible D minor based electronic sound installation developed from audio samplings of the partita itself. This almost subliminal introduction is opens a meditative portal to an altered state of consciousness that prepares listeners to experience the power of Bach’s Chaconne in a more intimate and multidimensional way.

Performance Specifics

Illuminated Chaconne would be best performed in more open, non-traditional settings in which there is less of a formal separation between musician and audience. Local options might include Seattle Symphony’s Octave 9 or a late night “unititled” production in the Benaroya Hall lobby. The program could also be adapted as the second half of a small concert hall recital. In any setting, the abstract audio/visual prelude becomes gradually more active as it approaches its peak, then fades away as the live performance of the Partita begins. The initial movements are performed only with stage lighting changes that contrast with the more dramatic visual art backdrop that accompanies the Chaconne.

The outline above is only an initial, quite flexible suggestion, based on my consultations with graphic and projection designers, musicians, and potential audience members. Details of the program could be amended as needed. I would be happy to answer questions from and creatively exchange ideas with violin soloists or host organizations beyond Seattle to make this unique project an inspiring success.


  • Length of abstract audio and visual Prelude after the audience enters hall and takes seats: approximately 10 minutes.

  • Length of initial four movements of the Partita, with stage lighting changes between movements: approximately 14 minutes.

  • Length of Chaconne final movement with projected art: approximately 16 minutes.

  • Total length of program is approximately 40-45 minutes.

I will be happy to host a question and answer period after the performance.

I am applying for two arts related grants to help cover initial multimedia development costs for Illuminated Chaconne.

Sandra M. Dean, Visual Artist
Seattle, Washington