This is the rest, another of Kathy McTavish‘s mesmerizing pieces of sound art and kinestatic imagery. Three poems by Michelle Matthees in type form—”The Gardner Hotel,” “Bouquets” and “The Rest”—scroll slowly up the screen against a background (or is it a foreground?) of shifting shapes and tones.
Photographer Barbara Doux directs, and also supplies the voice-over. Nguyen-Tri Mai is both author and performer. Audio recording and mixing as well as video editing are all the work of Kuba Dziewa.
This tantalizing introduction to the contemporary Burmese poetry scene offers a rare (for Westerners) glimpse into the country’s intellectual life. Here are the details from Vimeo:
Images: Craig Ritchie.
Animations: Brett Biedscheid/State of State.
Animations Commissioned by English Pen.
Images of Burmese poets taken in their writing spaces in Yangon, Burma during 2011/2012.
Poem excerpts from the anthology of Burmese Poetry, ‘Bones Will Crow’, by Arc Publications, 2012.
The excerpted poems include “The Sniper” by Pandora, “A Letter for Lovers and Haters” by Ma Ei, “Aung Cheimt Goes to the Cinema” by Aung Cheimt, “A Bunch of 52 Keys” by Maung Pyiyt Min, “Moonless Night” by Moe Zaw, “Slide Show” by Zeyar Lynn, “Redundant Sentences” by Thitsar Ni, “Gun and Cheese” by Khin Aung Aye, “The Heart Bearer” by Maung Thein Zaw, and “If You Need to Piss, Go to the Other Room” by Moe Way. Translators are ko ko thett, James Byrne and Maung Tha Noe.
I found this musical interpretation compelling; the accompanying kinestatic video isn’t bad, either. It’s a selection from The Winter E.P. – Shakespeare’s Sonnets by Hallam London, who is credited with composition, vocals, guitars, keyboards and all programming. The photos in the video were taken on Norderney Island in the North Sea by Nicola Moczek and Riklef Rambow. Visit the composer’s bandcamp page to hear more from the EP.