Michael Patterson is a director, designer and animator working in visual music. While in graduate studies in animation at Calarts, he developed his impressionistic style of animating which led to a 10-year career as a director in music videos. This was followed by 20 years of directing award-winning blended media TV commercials at Rhythm + Hues and other studios. He’s been creating visual music work and teaching at USC since spring 2007.
Candace Reckinger is an artist-director creating blended media and visual music using animation and photography. She has an undergraduate degree in painting and an MFA in film from UCLA. Her work ventures beyond the boundaries of conventional narrative exploring the border between the figurative and abstract, the mythic and experiential, and the tension between movement and stillness. Candace’s professional directing career has spanned independent film and video, music videos and TV commercials. She’s been teaching at USC since fall 2007.
Candace and Mike began their professional careers as co-directors. Their music video career started in 1985 with the animation for the MTV hit Take on Me for A-Ha. Together, Patterson and Reckinger directed a string of MTV hits that include, Suzanne Vega’s Luka and Opposite’s Attract, featuring Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat, which won the Grammy Award for Best Music Video. In 2006, 7 of their music videos, along with Mike’s animated film Commuter, were added to the Museum of Modern Artʼs permanent collection.
While at USC, Patterson+Reckinger collaborated with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and a team of their students and animation graduates to create a 5-screen visualization of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for the gala opening of Frank Gehry’s New World Center in Miami Beach, Florida in 2011. They produced and co-directed the live immersive events, Rhythms + Visions / Expanded + Live I and II in 2011 and 2013. The large-scale outdoor events gathered internationally renown visual music artists work from the US, Europe and Japan for architectural projection, installation and live performances with a curated gallery exhibition.
In 2015, Patterson and Reckinger directed 7 new visual music works for contemporary music, 3 of these pieces were created in collaboration with a team of their USC animation students. They continued their work in immersive visual music design with Measures + Frames, a concert for live string quartet and multi-screen projection. The visualizations were created in collaboration with the composers, Thomas Ades (Arcadiana), Veronika Krausas (Mideragami) and Jeffrey Holmes (Kirurgi). Other visual artists in the event included David Lynch and Agnes Varda.
The other 4 pieces were commissioned by concert pianist Gloria Cheng for Beyond Music: Composition and Performance in the Age of Augmented Reality. These new works were for live music performance and surround projection at the Broad Experimental Digital Arts space at UCLA, November 2015. Other visual artists in the program included Refik Anadol and Bill Viola.
Since 2014, Candace and Mike have engaged in collaborations with the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and the Thornton School of Music. In September 2015, they worked with the Thornton School to re-stage Pictures at an Exhibition for panoramic projection at the Granada Theater in Santa Barbara. The concert featured the USC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carl St. Claire and was the first time new Museik iPad controller was used to sync projection media with live symphonic performance.