After all my web hosting woes of late, I think it’s safe to say that this site, at least, is back on an even keel. To celebrate, I made a video for one of my favorite poems, and Nic Sebastian was gracious enough to upload a reading I could use to Pizzicati of Hosanna. I found the music on SoundCloud: “The Foggy Dew” on tin whistle by Chris Kent. I blogged a bit more about this at Via Negativa just now.
O.K., this is something different for Moving Poems — a videopoem made to embody the mission of a university. Marquette University is a Jesuit school whose motto is “Be the Difference.” (Gotta love Jesuits!) The filmmaker is James P. O’Malley of Carnaval Pictures. Here’s what he says in the description at Vimeo:
Using Mary Oliver’s inspirational poem as a script, I created this Poem-Videoclip for the inauguration ceremony of Marquette University’s new president.
I shot all the images solo with my Canon 5D Mark2, using Nikkor and Canon lenses and available light. The sync sound day included John Egan, of Egan Audio Services, and Patrick O’Malley as assistant. Patrick composed, recorded and mastered the piano solo, and John Egan created the sound design and audio master.
The readers are Marquette University students, and all on-camera performers are “non-pro” or “real-people”.
I edited and mastered on FCP, except for the simple graphic call to action I exported from After Effects.
The result is lightly branded enough, I think, to engage Oliver fans unconnected with Marquette. I know I enjoyed it.
Moving Poems’ latest production takes advantage of a new free-audio site that other filmmakers might be interested in, too: pizzicati of hosanna: dead poets’ poems read by Nic Sebastian in English & other languages. The footage is from Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia. I blogged all about it at Via Negativa.
This new film from Bloodaxe Books, one of Tranströmer’s English-language publishers, incorporates footage of the Nobel Prize announcement and the Tranströmers’ reaction, as well as footage of Tranströmer playing the piano which Pamela Robertson-Pearce had just shot in August. Robin Fulton’s translations appear as subtitles for the Swedish-language readings, which include “The Nightingale in Badelunda,” “Allegro,” “From the Thaw on 1966,” “The Half-Finished Heaven,” “April and Silence,” “From March 1979,” and “Tracks.” This is of course something that the film/video medium is particularly well suited for: it’s wonderful to hear the poet reading in Swedish and know (more or less) what he is saying.
Do read the extensive notes on the Vimeo page. The detail that “Swedish composers have written several left-hand piano pieces especially for him to play” speaks volumes about his status in his homeland. (Hat-tip: Teju Cole on Twitter)
Another text-only videopoem, but today with a soundtrack. I’m not crazy about the font-choice — for some reason, I have trouble seeing a Cummings poem in anything but a typewriter font — but otherwise this strikes me as a highly successful re-imagining of the text.
Nic Sebastian blogged about “using text vs voice in videopoems” the other day, and it’s sparked an interesting discussion in the comments, with videopoetry pioneer Tom Konyves weighing in.