Thursday, 28 March 2013

Het schampen van lichtgewicht kerels

Earlier this year Dutch poet Maartje Smits (who is one of the poets on the Deus Ex Machina album 'Uitgesproken') asked me if I was interested in a collaboration for the online magazine 'hard//hoofd'

I'm always interested in new collaborations.
She proposed a collab with Laura van der Haar, who had just won the Dutch Poetry Slam (2012)
Introductions were we go.

Mailing back and forth Laura and I decided to start from scratch.
I did send her a few tracks of me to 'get inspired' by and she picked out this one;

Based on that track she started writing and I went looking for images based on her first words.
Images I found in test-footage of two different filmmakers.
Jonathan Flint and Niklas Stagvall (Lantismadia) who were willing to let me use and re-edit that footage. Laura kept on writing after seeing the original footage. A poem started to appear...different versions...we kept some ones appeared... I started editing the footage to the chosen track. Weeks went by while Laura finished the poem. It's great to see where it started from and what it has turned into. Working like this is a rewarding proces.

Het schampen van lichtgewicht kerels

hoe het precies was weet je niet meer
het ging vlug en je wilde ook niet overdreven kijken
kijken alsof je echt oplet, daar kun je niet tegen

wel heb je nog snippers gevonden, vogelpootjes
die uiteindelijk dorre blaadjes bleken, harde
onder voeten krakende blaadjes

je trapt erop, per ongeluk, omdat het donker is of
omdat het toch al stuk is

je zocht alleen maar grond om in weg te zakken
uitzicht ‘s nachts, en een tak voor in het gezicht want
je hebt nu al heel wat dingen statisch laten worden
van iets heel gewoons een foto gemaakt, spullen in een berging verplaatst

je zoekt gewoon een plek waar het kan waaien
waar het waaien door niets meer gestopt wordt
waar je ook zelf op de grond moet gaan liggen, luisteren

het is niet pluis wat nu nog scharrelt

er was dus ooit iemand die een vlek uit je shirt haalde
die even in je schouders kneedde
schampte, een deuk maakte

je probeert nog altijd op een bepaalde manier binnen te komen maar
struikelen is niet
je van je sterkste kant laten zien 

She provided me with a few recordings and I brought all the ingredients together.
Look and listen for yourself;

Concept, Editing & Music: Swoon
Words and Voice: Laura van der Haar
Cinematography: Jonathan Flint & Niklas Stagvall

Monday, 25 March 2013

Born To Die

A special treat and a fun project.

A while back Alastair Cook approached me with a question to do 'a felix'
(That's what we call making each a video for the same poem in a different language, to the same music. Something we did last year for the first time with 'Aan het water' by Bernard Dewulf for the Felix Poetry Festival)

The people behind the organisation of 'Reel Festival' had asked him to be involved making a video
for the poem 'Born To Die' by Iraqi poet Zaher Moussa.

More info
: the link takes you to a bunch of information and a diary of a journey they all made to Iraq.
A journey during which poet Ryan van Winkle filmed footage from places they visited.
Alastair and I agreed only to use images from that footage for the video's.

Alastair made a video for the Iraq version, read by the poet himself.
I got to make one for the English translation by Lauren Pyott, read by poet Jen Hadfield.

We both edited the Iraqi footage to this track made entirely with toy-instruments:

I'm very pleased with the way these twins came out and with how we used the footage.
Have a look and listen for yourself;

Words by Zaher Mousa
Voice by Jen Hadfield
Translated by Lauren Pyott
Camera: Ryan van Winkle
Concept, editing, treats & music: Swoon

Thursday, 21 March 2013

La Vigie

In the beginning of 2012 Michaël Vandebril released his first poetry collection.
A collection in both (main)  languages of our country; Dutch and French.

Het vertrek van Maeterlinck / L'éxil de Maeterlinck (De Bezige Bij Antwerpen, 2012)

A first video for a Dutch version of the poem 'Het vertrek van Maeterlinck' was released with the introduction of the book.
A well received book, because it won 'Best Debut' earlier this year at 'The Herman De Coninck Poetry Prizes'.

To celebrate that and because it's international poetry day another video was made.


ça ne mène à rien les pieds envahis par les herbes rêches
                                                                                  nous montons les marches
ici dans cette maison sur la colline nous recevons chaque soir
                                                                                  nos hôtes d’été nous attendons

nus sur le balcon notre sexe sec et grand ouvert comme le bec
                                                                                  d’un oiseau
le chemin est lent et chaud sur la crête des dunes grêlées de saletés
                                                                                  et d’excréments

ça ne mène à rien je te le donne en trois chéri il pleut des marées
                                                                                  dans ce chenal
au loin les poissons cuisent dans l’eau sombre nous déployons
                                                                                  nos ailes prêts

à t’éfaufiler sous ce ciel clair il est impossible de répondre
                                                                                  au feu
mais viens et allonge-toi dans mes chambres vides avec vue
                                                                                  sur la mer humaine

French singer/Painter/artist Marie-Laure Beraud did a strong performance on the reading and made the poem jump from the page.
I've put her reading to a re-edit of a track I made a year ago for a live performance of Michaël.
The track features a treated sample of 'Bell Toll' by Kathy McTavish (Cellodreams)

The images for this video were picked for the same performance. A re-edited and treated version of Lutz Mommartz' video 'weg zum nachbarn'(1968)
I added layers of lights and strams of colour.

Anyways have a look and listen for yourself;

words: Michaël Vandebril
translation: Jan H. Mysjkin & Pierre Gallissaires
voice: Marie-Laure Béraud
music: Swoon & Kathy McTavish (treated samples of her 'Bells Toll')
concept, camera & editing: Swoon
footage: 'weg zum nachbarn' (Lutz Mommartz, 1968)