Poet: Brenda Clews

The Wall by Brenda Clews

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Video, words, voice and music are all by Brenda Clews, who notes in the YouTube description:

I meditate regularly and often do yoga sets. Especially I do this when I am working through issues. During one of my sessions last week the metaphor of the wall arose, and while resting after the yoga set I picked up my iPhone and began speaking, intending to write a prose poem from my voice notes. I left the recording as is, and added the background of sounds and instruments. My speaking of the words is not a performance but an embodiment of the meaning. Then I began to work with recent footage of a lightning storm I had shot. Initially, when looking at the rushes, I was perturbed that I hadn’t removed the mesh screen. Yet the footage is perfect for this video. The subconscious is all of a processing, mobile, energy of constantly equilibrating unity, and what we are voicing here is what we are filming there. Our lives are always moving beyond their boundaries as we push into deeper processes of who we are, alone and together.

Brenda also blogged a few process notes at Rubies in Crystal, where she went into more detail about the soundtrack:

The sound track is a midi file of the text that I generated at http://www.p22.com/musicfont/ and yes, I used copters, and gunshot, and a pad4choir from the music text generator (I did have to copy the sound files from the site one by one and mix them later) and ethereal sunrise, smooth clav, whirly, and nature sounds from GarageBand, plus the original track of thunder and lightning, so it is meant to be a bit, well a bit of a war zone. It works, but it’s not for relaxation, obviously!

The Dinosaur Book is Green Fire by Brenda Clews

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Canadian poet and artist Brenda Clews does it all here: drawing, filming, editing, even constructing the music. “The world is a green furor of creativity – the green fire of life,” she writes in the description at YouTube, where she provides a detailed description of her process, including this note about the music:

I created the music in a cool program, a ‘P22 Music Text Composition Generator (A free online music utility)’: http://www.p22.com/musicfont In this program, each letter has a sound. When you put text in, you can choose what BMP and instrument you’d like, and the program generates a midi file, with the sheet music. I layered my track in GarageBand 6.0.2 using different instruments, splicing and re-arranging. […]

From start to finish took about 12 hours, there were many layers, of image, text, and sound, each with filters, and I had to render a few times, which took hours, to see if what I had produced worked.

Anansi Hides the Moon by Brenda Clews

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“Poem, painting and video by Brenda Clews,” as it says in the closing credits. Brenda’s process notes at her blog are almost as interesting as the result:

A painting, ‘Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelg√§ngers, Clones,’ hanging on a wall. Sunlight moving through wind-waving branches falls through a window onto it. You can also see the shadows of the window itself. That morning I was absorbed watching the light and shadows dancing quietly over the painting and videotaped it. Then, on an evening walk I came across a light on a patio with a thick white gauzy curtain around it, and shot some footage with my iPhone video camera. Later, playing with the footage, I added the billowing curtain and its light next to the painting of doubles and shadows. Then I cut sections of a photograph of the painting out, animated them and added them to the film. Finally, pondering on what I had produced, I wrote a whimsical poem of the African trickster spider god, Anansi, and wove it in with handwritten notes.

Read the rest.

One Hand Clapping by Brenda Clews

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Toronto-based painter and poet Brenda Clews has recently begun to explore videopoetry, with some very interesting results. Concrete or visual poetry often strikes me as more art than poem, but I like what this one says about rain — and about poetry. The words are right at hand, but remain out of reach. (If you have the bandwidth for it, this is available in HD, as well — click through to view it on YouTube.)

Another exciting thing about this production is the double-blind collaborative way it came about, alluded to in the title and explained in the credits at the end:

Brenda created a short film
for unheard music

Gabriel created music
for an unseen film

Gabriel is the avant garde musician Gabriel G, a.k.a. Alphacore.

See Brenda’s lengthy description and analysis of the piece at her blog, Rubies in Crystal.