Farerra is a selection from a rensaku (“a sequence of haiku or tanka in which the individual stanzas do not function independently,” says AHA) by the prominent Irish poet and haikujin Gabriel Rosenstock. This videopoem version by Swoon (Marc Neys) uses the first eight haiku of the sequence, and combines Rosensack’s reading in Irish Gaelic from Lyrikline with an English translation on the screen. Marc writes:
For the visuals I decided to use stills by Pyanek, who made some brilliant macro photos. He is a photographer who uses the reverse-lense technique to delve deeper into the tiny worlds that make up the world we can see with our naked eye. I thought these images expressed exactly what I was looking for to combine with Gabriel’s observations of the nature around the Catalonian Pyrenees. They both dive into our natural world and surroundings to dig underneath the surface, somehow…
I applied the same visual haiku technique (5/7/5 seconds for each image) as I did earlier and placed the English version as (sober) text on screen with each last image. The only movement is a gentle zooming in and out.
Incidentally, Marc has just launched a low-key crowd-funding campaign to support his work as a filmmaker and composer. His main editing computer just died, and he can’t afford to buy a new one without our help. If you enjoy his videopoems, please consider making a donation. As someone who often has trouble asking for help and believes in open content and open source, I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment:
I strongly believe in art being as free as possible. Unlocked. Shared and spread all over the world (real and virtual).
But I also believe that in order for artists to create and produce, their audiences need to step up and directly support them.
I’m basically stretching my comfort zone by getting out of my comfortable hermit existence to connect with you people and hold my hand out, be it virtually.
A big thanks to Arjen Vandrie for being the recording engineer of the different instruments I mistreated in this track.
The visual idea for the video came to me when going through different sources looking for footage for another project.
I picked out pieces depicting several (powerful) forces in nature (water/waves, wind, lightning,…) and some with a clear human presence in it. One piece (The hand above the water) was the perfect carrier for the words. The repetition of that calming gesture worked perfectly with Morten’s voice.
poem & voice: Morten Søndergaard
(from: Bier dør sovende – Copenhagen: Borgens Forlag, 1998)
Audioproduktion: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin 2008
Concept, editing, treats & music: SWOON
recording engineer music: Arjen Vandrie
Cinematography: cinematography: Sarah Lee (from ‘Under The Sea’)
Leonard Soosay (from ‘For Benny’) – Michael Raiden (from ‘ A Quick Hour’)
under the Attribution license (CC BY 3.0)
Thanks; Orange HD, videoblocks, Mazwai, Lyrikline
Surprisingly, I’ve never shared a Danish poetry film here before—this is the first. I hope it won’t be the last. (I’d love to see a filmmaker do something with Henrik Nordbrandt’s poetry, for example.)
A film by Swoon (Marc Neys) for a piece by the Icelandic poet Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, the first of three (so far) in what Neys calls “my ‘videopoem journey’ along the Northern countries.” Norðdahl himself is no stranger to videopoetry, having made the wonderful Höpöhöpö Böks a few years back. He’s also a great reader/performer, so it’s no surprise that Neys used his reading of the text from Lyrikline in the soundtrack. The English translation, also from Lyrikline, is by Jonas Moody.
Neys posted some process notes to his blog. He says he wanted to try “a combination of a film composition with text on screen and a ‘regular videopoem’ with audible poetry.”
I had two distinctive parts in mind for the video;
A film composition (with text on screen) at slow pace
with the hectic and almost frantic reading combined with a whirlpool of images in the middle.
It occurs to me on second viewing that the highly symmetrical structure of the video mirrors the shape of the poem on the page, where every line is centered and where the final lines come back to a similar image as the opening ones, parabola-like.
Belgian artist Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon recently released two entirely different films for a poem by his great countryman Hugo Claus: “a ‘European Dance-version’ (using Hugo’s reading from Lyrikline) and an ‘American Road movie version’ using a fantastic reading Michael Dickes made from the English translation by John Irons,” as he put it in a blog post.
‘since January 14, 2015, I’ve been posting one minute of dance to this blog every day, simply, without editing or effects, in the place and state of mind I find myself that day, with no special technique, staging, clothing, or makeup, nothing but what is there.’
I asked if I could use one of her ‘minutes’ (2 février 2015 – 20e danse) for this videopoem. I could.
I simply adore this combination of Hugo’s poem, his voice and her dancing in the snow.
Enjoy! (There’s also a version with French subtitles: https://vimeo.com/118980966)
The source of the ‘road movie’ version is a music video by the collective ESNAF
Their video for ‘The Long Haul’ by NO (cinematography by Jovan Todorović) had all the ingredients I needed for the English version of the poem. I believe the little storyline is the perfect match for the poem and Michael Dickes’ reading.
Note to self: make more ‘Belgian’ videopoems…
So I made one to start with. One I wanted to make for a long time, but never had the right idea for.
My idea for the visual was simple, but effective I believe.
‘Cut up flowers and create a house in the most simplistic manner and then destroy the house’
I filmed the whole process from different angles and with different lenses. Editing came naturally once I had the music and the visuals. I adapted the pace and feel of the soundtrack until there was a sense of unity. A translation by James S. Holmes (from ‘A quarter century of poetry from Belgium’, 1970) was used as subtitles.
Memoires is currently a featured film at The Continental Review.
Click through to read the text in Finnish and in English translation (by Pirkko Talvio-Jaatinen and Saila Susiluoto), as well as few process notes.