Monday, 15 July 2013

A Westray Prayer

This year it's Filmpoem's first festival. Submissions ended and the organisers are in their own words 'quite surprised at the variation in quality of the submissions. This is a new genre, that’s for sure.'

Also in the open call for filmpoem:
A Westray Prayer is a poem by John Glenday (from 'Grain', London: Picador, 2009) Filmpoem Festival invites entries of films based on this poem. Three films will be selected and presented in  conversation, with selected other entries being shown.

A Westray Prayer
i.m. Mike and Barbara Heasman
Let us now give thanks
for these salt-blown
wind-burned pastures
where outgrass and timothy
shrink from the harrow of the sea
where Scotland at long last
wearies of muttering its own name
where we may begin
to believe we have always known
what someone in his wisdom
must have meant
when he gave us everything
and told us nothing.

Filmpoem Festival 2013 will be held on the 2nd-4th August 2013 in Dunbar Town House, a beautiful building in the centre of Dunbar, itself an attractive fishing town 20 minutes east of Edinburgh. It is supported by North Light Arts, who will be offering the opportunity to have your films screened the subsequent week in their Solar Cinema.

When asked if I also wanted to make a video for this poem, I immediately took a dive into it... I re-edited a piece of this track to lay John Glenday's reading in;

The images for this video were all made during our visit to StAnza earlier this year.
They speak for themselves...

Have a look and listen for yourself...

Words & Voice: John Glenday
Concept, Camera, Editing & Music: Swoon

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Children Have Lit the Fire

Tsead Bruinja is a poet from The Netherlands. He lives in Amsterdam, but is rooted in Fryslân.
He writes in different languages.
I met him at the last Stanza festival (Thanks to Michaël Vandebril for leading me to him) and was blown away by how beautiful the Frisian language(s) sounds.

After the festival I asked him if I could make a video for one of his Frisian poems.
I made one for;


wy jouwe te folle ljocht tegearre
do en ik tinke dat se ús net sjogge
mar se sjogge ús

lykas besjogge se in himel
fol fallende stjerren op flylân
ein augustus

it is nacht op it eilân langstme
dat skûmkoppen fan ferwyt en ferlet oanfrette
en golle weagen fan belofte sân oansette

de bern ha it fjoer oanstutsen op it strân
it hast op in folwoeksen sûpen set en it oan elkoar bekend

sjogge inoar inoar inoar

ien boat kin my meinimme
mar dêrfoar moat ik slimmer siik wêze
en minder ljocht jaan

ien boat komt net
hoe't ik ek flok

baarnt ôf
op oare weagen

raand goud

de bern ha it fjoer oanstutsen
en wy

wy jouwe tefolle ljocht

Tsead loved the result (Always a joy to hear) and and made me an English translation, so you can enjoy a version with titles.

The Children Have Lit the Fire

we give off too much light together
you and I think they don't see us
but they see us

like they're watching a sky
full of stars falling on Vlieland
end of august

it's night on the island of need
that is eaten away at by crests of reproach and desire
while at the same time generous waves of promise
deposit sand

the children have lit the fire on the beach
boozing it up almost like adults
they confess to each other

see each other each other each other

one boat can take me away from here
but for that I must be sicker
and give off less light

one boat won't come
however I curse

burns down
on other waves

molten gold

the children have started a fire
and we

we give off too much light
Have a look and listen;

Words & Voice: Tsead Bruinja
Concept, Editing & Music: Swoon
Thanks: VFX Footage

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Awkword Paper Cut; She Saw & other pieces

This month I will be one of the featured artists on the new online magazine 'Awkword Paper Cut'

A video I made for Meg Tuite featured in their inaugural issue. For this month Michael Dickes (driving force behind APC) gave me a chance to introduce a few recent works and collaborations.

I have sent him 3 video's;
Ve Znaku, my collab with Czech poet Jaromír Typlt,
The Crowning of Jesters, the latest work David Tomaloff and I cooked up
and, brand new, She Saw.

You can read, view and listen to the article on Awkword Paper Cut.
Be sure to also check out Michael's radioshow where he plays the soundtrack and David Tomaloff's superb reading of 'The Crowning of Jesters'

She Saw, then...

Michael Dickes and I agreed to make a brand new piece for this issue. He gave me a great reading of 'She Saw'

   She Saw
She  grows  weary of  keen  eyesight and  the  seeing  of  things  that only she can see. She grows weary of the sound of the machine and its thrashing; tired of the turning of wheels; of the sweat that forms at the pounding of keys; of studying the strange texture that surfaces the darkening circles and the haunting of poverty for the price that was paid.  They will speak of hers as a wasted life, because they could not see.
(Text originally appeared in Thrice Fiction | Dec 2012)

A few weeks earlier I made the track 'Antanas, the cook' (after reading an article on Hans Lipschis )

More or less at the same time I had  found 'The vampire Bat' (especially the face on 32:09)
Great images, so I tried out some footage on that piece of music, cause I thought it fitted the original idea.
And at that time Michael gave me 'She Saw'...
Sometimes all falls into place and I would be stupid not to act on that,
so I combined all pieces;

Words & Voice: Michael Dickes
Concept, add. camera, editing & music: Swoon
Footage and audio samples: The Vampire Bat (Frank Strayer, 1933)